HUNTERSVILLE – Central Piedmont Community College and engine-maker Cummins Inc. announced a deal Monday to develop a technician training program at CPCC’s Merancas Campus in Huntersville. Plans include creating and equipping a diesel and heavy equipment lab at the campus.
Indiana-based Cummins makes diesel and natural-gas powered engines, and related technologies. The company has 48,000 employees worldwide and plans to bring apprentices to Huntersville from across North America and the Caribbean.
It’s the latest apprenticeship program of its kind to find a home at CPCC. “CPCC has a national reputation for apprenticeship programs – Siemens, Blum, Ameritech, Daetwyler, etc., and the college already has a diesel and heavy equipment program. So, CPCC is a good fit for Cummins’ needs,” spokesman Jeff Lowrance said. “We think the program will be a great addition to our current Merancas Campus offerings.
Starting in January 2015, groups of 15 Cummins apprentices will take classes at CPCC in five-week blocks as part of a four-year program. The apprentices will be full-time Cummins employees and will spend the equivalent of two years at CPCC, where they will learn how to build and maintain the company’s diesel engines. Students also will take math, English, communication and workplace psychology courses.
Cummins will pay for tuition, fees, books, tools and other expenses. Students who complete the program will receive an associate’s degree in Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology and be certified by Cummins in engine and/or power generation.
“We’re looking for career-oriented men and women with a desire to work with Cummins technology,” David Taylor, Cummins’ apprenticeship program leader, said in an announcement Monday. “There are plenty of opportunities to make good money, gain experience and move up in a growing company.”
It wasn’t clear how much Cummins would invest at CPCC in Huntersville. Lowrance said CPCC would open the program using its current equipment and facilities. Cummins is expected to donate equipment within the next few months, but the value has not been announced.
The program is registered with the N.C Department of Commerce and certified by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Program applicants need a high school diploma or GED with corresponding grade-point average requirements or be an honorably discharged military veteran.
“CPCC is proud and excited to partner with Cummins on their innovative Technician Apprentice Program,” Tamara Williams, dean of the Merancas Campus, said in the announcement. “The program will offer each student a wonderful opportunity and provide the foundation for a great career, while establishing a talent pipeline for Cummins. We look forward to welcoming the first group of students in January.”