Future diesel mechanics, big-rig drivers at East Valley Institute of Technology

After the official donation of five commercial big-rig International trucks from Navistar to the diesel technologies program at East Valley Institute of Technology, five students were given keys and they started up the vehicles.

EVIT is for high-school-aged students at 10 school districts, including Apache Junction, J.O. Combs and Queen Creek, and is also open to adults. The EVIT Adult Education is accredited by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education.

Two International ProStar trucks, one International DuraStar truck and two International WorkStar trucks, combined worth nearly $400,000, had been donated.

I walked around one with my camera, getting video of the vehicle and surroundings. The rumbling diesel engines in the high-ceiling shop at 1601 W. Main St. in Mesa are to be used by instructors as real-world lab props. They will prepare students to troubleshoot engines in future careers as diesel mechanics.

Those careers could be six-figure incomes, an EVIT official said.

“We need these young people to come to EVIT and learn skills for a lifetime,” Shon Rasmussen said in a release. He is fleet account manager for RWC Group and an advisor to EVIT’s diesel program.

“And they will find a passion in something where they can earn six figures,” he said.

The Navistar donation not only will allow EVIT to train workers that industry needs, but allows EVIT to engage students and help them discover a career they will love, he said in the release.

Looking for a tech career? EVIT may have a program for you. If diesel engines is not your primary interest, there are more than 40 programs, from welding to aviation, massage therapy and nursing, according to evit.com/programs.

Starting in 2019, a truck-driving school will be added, where students in a short time can prepare for a commercial driving license.

Big-rig vehicles could by used in the truck-driving school along with dump trucks and other vehicles, officials said.
Check out evit.com for more information.

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