BANGOR, Maine — Students enrolled in diesel, truck and heavy equipment technology programs at Maine’s community colleges now have a chance to work with some of the equipment they will encounter once they join the work force as the result of a major gift from Dead River Co.
Dead River officials announced Thursday that the company is donating 11 diesel trucks to The Foundation for Maine’s Community Colleges over the next few years. The gift is worth more than $100,000, according to foundation officials.
The first three trucks are earmarked for Eastern Maine Community College in Bangor, Northern Maine Community College in Presque Isle and Washington County Community College in Calais.
“Throughout our 103-year history, Dead River Company has always kept our customers, neighbors and communities top of mind,” company President Robert Moore said in announcing the gift.
“We proudly support Maine’s high-quality educational opportunities in the community college system,” he said. “Given our experience in working with graduates of these programs, as well as the budget challenges faced by community colleges, we are confident that our donation of these trucks will enhance the hands-on training for EMCC, NMCC, and WCCC students.”
Thursday’s announcement took place during a gathering of EMCC students, faculty and administrators; legislators; and industry and business leaders in the campus’s Automotive Lab, located in the school’s Penobscot Hall.
A similar event is planned for 10 a.m. Friday at NMCC in the Diesel Hydraulics Technology Lab in the Mailman Trades Building.
“These vehicles will provide our students with hands-on technical work experience in the engineering, testing, servicing, troubleshooting and repairing of trucks and diesel engines — skills that are required to meet the current and future needs of Maine’s trucking industry,” EMCC President Lawrence Barrett said.
Department chairman Gene Fadrigon agreed.
“The Dead River trucks, in addition to having been well-maintained, provide the ideal laboratory learning experience,” he said. “The Navistar International truck we’ve received has computerized management control engines, ABS braking systems and air ride suspension systems, giving students the benefit of working and learning on trucks that feature advanced technology.”