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Passing Along Our Expertise


When it comes to maintaining our buses and trains, VTA professionals not only do that work themselves, they also lend a hand when it comes to teaching others how to do it.

Hartnell College is Salinas recently took advantage of that help with a field trip to VTA’s Chaboya Maintenance Training Center.  A group of 14 students in Hartnell’s “Advanced Diesel Technology” program (ADT) spent a recent morning there learning some tricks of the trade.

“We like to establish a relationship with the college students so they know what we’re looking for in terms of qualifications,” said Russell Anderson, VTA Supervising Maintenance Instructor, 
and a member of Hartnell’s ADT Advisory Board. “This way the college can better prepare the students for working in the diesel technology industry.”
The students broke up into several groups, each with a VTA maintenance mentor going over various issues concerning their current course of study: heating, ventilation, and air conditioning technology used in transit hybrid buses and all electric buses.
Tony Carrillo will graduate from the Hartnell program next spring, and has already started his own business, South County Diesel, repairing diesel engines.  He described the VTA maintenance mentors as supportive and professional. “It’s a big eye opener for students to see what the diesel industry has to offer,” said Carrillo.

The school has been bringing students to visit VTA’s Maintenance Training Center for the past 10 years.

Hartnell Instructor Valentin Rodriguez calls the experience invaluable for the students. “They mature so much after this visit.  They have a much better idea of what’s expected of them when they see the real thing.”  Rodriguez says there is no shortage of jobs in the industry, especially in the agriculture-rich area of Salinas. “The jobs are waiting for them when they get out of school, fixing transit vehicles, tractors, and in small businesses,” Rodriguez said. 

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