As demand for diesel technology programs grew, the Milford (Nebraska) campus of Southeast Community College (SCC) faced a challenge. How could they meet that demand? The answer: Build a $13 million facility with the latest technology, big enough to house multiple bays for trucks and agriculture equipment.
The Crete Carrier Diesel Technology and Welding Center opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony on February 19, 2020. SCC President Dr. Paul Illich made a bold prediction.
“I am absolutely convinced this will be the best diesel technology facility in the country.”
Illich also thanked the Acklie Charitable Foundation for “the largest single private gift in the college’s history” which made the facility possible.
Crete Carrier Corporation Chairman and CEO Tonn Ostergard told the gathering, “We’ve always considered supporting education to be an investment that our company—and our family—feel helps people realize their goals and reach their potential.”
Crete Carrier Corporation employs more than 400 maintenance technicians at locations throughout the country, and Ostergard says strong diesel technology programs are critical. “Most people don’t realize just how essential the trucking industry is to our country and our economy. If you use it, a truck and a truck driver delivered it. Equally important is the fact that a very highly trained tech kept that truck running.”
Workforce development is a key issue that Ostergard has been involved with in the state of Nebraska. He says SCC has done an “amazing job” in that area and the new facility builds that capability. “It’s extremely important when we have talented young people that we’re giving them the education and the opportunities to stay right here in Nebraska.”
And Dr. Illich says that’s why the gift from the Acklie Charitable Foundation means so much.
“This gift represents a very inspiring example of how one family’s dedication and commitment to advancing an industry will change the lives of students, their families and our communities for generations.”
Additional contributions for the facility came from Truck Center Companies, NMC Cat and Inland Truck Parts and Service.