Cummins Helps Launch Technician Apprentice Program
Jenny Bush, Executive Managing Director – North America Distribution, Cummins Inc., recently joined university leaders and Indiana state officials to launch VU’s new Technician Apprentice Program (TAP), a critical initiative to ensure that VU students receive the technical skills necessary to be successful in the workplace.
Over the course of the four-year program, Cummins apprentices will work alongside and learn from certified Cummins technicians. Upon completing the course, students will have earned an Associate’s degree in Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology and will be Cummins-certified in engines, with the option to pursue careers in power generation, marine, high horsepower or service operations.
As part of the ribbon-cutting ceremony held Aug. 21, 2017 launching the program, both Cummins and VU officials welcomed the first class of TAP students. The inaugural group of students come from five states, including Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Michigan and Ohio. The second group of 16 apprentice students will start in July 2018, followed by a third group in October 2018. The program will reach capacity in two-and-half years with 90 students per-year enrolled at VU.
“At Cummins, we care deeply about our people and their development,” Bush said. “The Technician Apprentice Program is a prime example of how Cummins partners with local institutions and organizations that share a similar passion for developing local talent that not only benefits our company, but the communities in which we live and work.”
VU’s Diesel and Heavy Equipment facility is already equipped with an extensive collection of Cummins diesel engines and equipment that will be used to train the apprentices. VU President, Chuck Johnson, offered his enthusiasm for the program.
“We are excited about this partnership,” Johnson said. “It is exactly what Indiana needs, and the United States needs, to address workforce challenges. It marries a great academic and technical program with a great corporation with great vision. This is really a win-win-win – Indiana wins, the people of Indiana win and this company and VU wins.”
The launch of TAP at VU ensures that Cummins continues to have access to a pool of talented individuals who are not only devoted to their craft, but are also committed to working with Cummins customers to ensure their success.
The apprentices are full-time Cummins employees, with the company paying all program expenses and providing a complete set of diesel technician tools. The program requires 1,200 VU instructional hours including lab, in-class, and online courses. In addition to the diesel and heavy equipment training, the apprentices will take math, English, communication, foundations of social life, personal financial management, technical writing, first aid, chemistry, and workplace psychology courses.
Cummins North America Sales and Service network, which includes both the U.S. and Canada, is entirely company-owned. “This means that customers have the strength of over 10,000 distribution employees, half of which are technicians. These individuals are at the heart of our company, providing parts, service, and advice on products, from Cummins’ earliest single-cylinder engines to the recently launched QSK 95 engine, a 16V 95 liter engine that holds more power per cylinder than a Dodge Ram pickup,” said bush.
“Vincennes University is excited to enter this partnership with Cummins. It will provide great opportunities for students to enter promising careers for one of the leading companies in the world,” said Tim Hale, chair of VU’s Diesel Technology program.
The program is registered with the U.S. Department of Labor. Program applicants are required to have a high school diploma and meet the minimum college entry grade-point average. Honorably discharged military veterans with equivalent college entry qualifications also are encouraged to apply for the program.
For more information about the Technician Apprenticeship Program at VU, or other diesel programs at VU, contact Tim Hale, chair of VU’s Diesel Technology Program at [email protected]; or Larry Stremming and [email protected]. Information is also available at http://careers.cummins.com/ or contact a local Cummins distributor.