Diesel technology program gets funding at Ventura College
A diesel technology program will start at Ventura College in fall 2016 as the result of a partnership between the Ventura County Community College District and Gibbs Truck Centers in Oxnard.
The district's board approved a five-year, $900,000 agreement with Gibbs earlier this month and announced the deal Thursday.
"Building successful pathways for our students would not be possible without innovative partnerships," said Board Chairwoman Dianne McKay in a news release.
The diesel tech program will give Ventura County students access to the education and training needed for good jobs, she said.
The need for qualified mechanics prompted Ed Gibbs to fund the program, the release says.
Matt LaVere, a Ventura College Foundation board member, initiated discussions between Gibbs Truck Centers, Ventura College, and the foundation.
The $900,000 will start the program and create an on-site lab for students at Gibbs' Oxnard headquarters.
As many as 150 technicians are expected to graduate from the diesel technology program in the five years of funding. The first class will graduate spring 2018.
Gibbs said the graduates will learn a range of skills from customer service and ethics to technical knowledge of engines.
Started in 1969, Gibbs Truck Centers also has locations in Bakersfield, Fresno, Santa Maria and Tulare. Gibbs is a full-service truck dealership and also provides paint and body shop work.
College district Chancellor Bernard Luskin said the program marks the first of its kind in Ventura County.
"We feel privileged to create this program with Gibbs Truck Centers and appreciate the Gibbs' generosity and vision," he said in the release.
The program will have curriculum approved by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation, said Ventura College President Greg Gillespie.