Ozarks Technical Community College celebrated the groundbreaking of the MHC Diesel Technician Training Center today, May 14 at the OTC Springfield Campus. The expansion was made possible through a $1 million grant from the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce, and $1 million in matching funds primarily raised from private donations, including the capital project’s naming sponsor Murphy-Hoffman Company (MHC).
“This expansion of the diesel program is in direct response to our industry partners’ need for more diesel technicians. It will greatly improve OTC’s ability to meet the workforce needs of southwest Missouri,” said OTC Chancellor Hal Higdon. “Diesel technicians are in high demand, and not just in the fields of trucking and engine repair, but they are also heavily employed by the region’s robust remanufacturing industry.”
The new facility will be an addition to the current diesel training facility in the Industry and Transportation Technology Center (ITTC). The addition includes three truck bays and four classrooms with learning labs. The expansion will be on the east side of the building near National Avenue.
Students in the diesel technology program can earn either a one-year certificate or a two-year associate of applied science. Currently, the college graduates about 40 diesel technicians per year. With the expansion, the college hopes to increase that number by 50 percent.
“The trucking industry has grown immensely since the company was founded, and it is a large component of the local economy. Offering state-of-the-art technical education at OTC will keep well-trained employees in the area and the economy healthy,” said Kyle Hoffman, Murphy-Hoffman Company’s vice president of the Missouri/Kansas region.
Besides MHC, SRC Holdings Corp., Commerce Bank, The Larson Group – Peterbilt and the Sunderland Foundation all donated to the project.
Total cost for the 12,500 square foot project is $2 million. The MHC Diesel Technician Training Center is scheduled to open for classes in the winter of 2019.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of a diesel technician in Springfield is more than $40,000 annually.