Posted: Oct 8, 2013 11:04 PM by Jacqueline Quynh - MTN News
Diesel engines long thought by some to be dirty and bad for the air may not sound appealing to a new car buyer, but students in Missoula are lining up to work on them.
The U.S. is projected to be the top producer of petroleum in the world this year, overtaking Russia. And now we have a growing oil industry in Eastern Montana, so you might be wondering, what's the commotion with diesel. And one way to explain this is, is to show you why students are studying diesel technology to get ahead.
Unlike many classrooms, one classroom at Missoula College Campus West tends to get a little smokey from all the diesel equipment, but that's not deterring any students.
"We have a student from Connecticut, we have a student from New York, we just graduated two from New Jersey last year," Headlee said.
Jim Headlee, with Missoula College has no qualms touting Missoula College's Diesel Technology Program as one of the best in the country. It's why he says many come from all over to study in Missoula.
One of them is Benjamin Rolin originally from California.
"Saw that there were a lot of opportunities and positions open for this kind of work, so I applied waited for a year and got in," Benjamin Rolin, student said.
Rolin's fellow classmates also say the key to being part of the oil boom starts in classrooms like their's.
"If you take it, you will find a job, and so I'm sure a lot of people want to go into it, because it's a secure way to find a job," Lindsay knight said.
Students start here with the basics by learning various engines that include Cummins, to brands like Volvo and Caterpillar.
From there students graduate working hands on with other parts of equipment, ranging from axles, computers, to brakes. And, over the last few years the wait list to begin this program has been growing.
"We have a year, two year waiting list, and we just don't have enough room," Headlee said.
About a dozen or so students are waiting to get into the program, which usually holds around 45 students. And each year about 20 graduate.