The Vision for Diesel Technology

Highland Community College
The Vision for Diesel Technology

Highland Community College (HCC) is looking to expand their diesel program at the technical school. The diesel program is recognized regionally, nationally, and internationally with students from area high schools and adults that compete in diesel skill competitions. Highland Community College Technical Center (HCCTC) plays a significant role in the Atchison Economic Development by spending over $350,000 annually for goods and services in Atchison and Atchison County.  As their enrollment continues to grow, from 45 students in 2015 to 50 students in 2018, the space that they have is getting smaller. At this time they have a limited number of students that can enroll and have a waiting list of students that would like to get into the program. Not only does the technical center play a central role in the economic development of Atchison and Atchison County, but it also plays a pivotal role in the educational development of students. At this time 23 out of the 50 students enrolled are high school students and the benefit of receiving a certificate through the technical school is priceless. Technical fields are in high demand and businesses can’t hire people fast enough. High School students can attend programs at HCCTC with free tuition and graduate from a one-year program at the same time they will get their high school diploma. There are many additional programs that HCCTC offer students from Nursing to Welding, and all are in-demand technical fields.

With the growing need for diesel workers, the space that HCCTC has is too small for the future of the diesel program.  Their vision is to build a new facility, which would be off of Country Club Road, on land that is owned by USD 409. Creating a new facility would allow the technical school to have more open space on campus and would bring more of the programs that are now off campus back onto campus.  Diesel I and Diesel II are in two different locations. The planned expansion goal is to bring the two programs together in one building, expand the program from two instructors to three instructors, and open the program up to more students. This new facility would expand the current program and ensure that it remains state-of-the-art for the Atchison Community and the graduates of the diesel program.

The USD 409 Board of Education highly supports the technical center programs and the vision of diesel technology.  They value the education that HCCTC provides not only for the students in USD 409 but Atchison County as a whole. The board is in discussions surrounding different options to help HCC in achieving their vision for the Diesel Technology Program and will continue discussions at the August Board Meeting. Suggestions discussed included: deeding the amount of land, needed for the expansion, to HCC; USD 409 having first right of refusal if HCC chooses to sell the expansion building/land in the future; and, place a sunset clause in agreement/deed that if expansion has not broke ground by a certain date (TBD), the land reverts back to USD 409. The board is interested in community comments through our “public comment” process at the August BOE meeting. There will be more discussion with possible action in September. The Vision for Diesel Technology Highland Community College (HCC)

 

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