Pepsi MidAmerica has donated a truck to Southeastern Illinois College for use in the diesel technology program.
Ralph Boots, diesel technology instructor at SIC, said the truck will be used for training current and future diesel tech students in different areas, such as diesel engines, electronics, suspension and steering, HVAC systems, and others.
“The students will benefit from the donation by honing their skill set with specific OEM [original equipment manufacturer] research and making hands-on repairs to all related systems and subsystems of a heavy duty truck,” said Boots.
Larry Chambers, Vice President of Fleet and Facilities at Pepsi MidAmerica and a member of the SIC Diesel Technology Advisory Council, is a strong advocate for the college’s program.
“I met with Ralph and Robbie a few years ago and I have been so impressed with this program. We think it’s important to help out in any way we can and we are so happy to do so,” said Chambers. “The program at SIC fills a great need in this region for fully capable and well-trained mechanics.”
Gabrielle Nappier and Scott Schluter, both diesel technicians at Pepsi MidAmerica, got their start at Pepsi while still in the diesel program at SIC. They also stopped by for the donation and to talk with the students and instructors about their experiences.
“SIC prepared us with a lot of familiarization on same or similar equipment we’d be working on at Pepsi,” said Schluter. “There is a close working relationship between Pepsi and SIC, and it really benefitted us as students to get in there and start working while we were still in school.”
SIC President Jonah Rice, Ph.D., said, “The Pepsi family has been a great partner with Southeastern for a long time, and we appreciate this latest gift that will be a tremendous asset to our diesel program,” said Dr. Jonah Rice, SIC president.
For information about Southeastern Illinois College’s diesel technology program, contact an SIC recruiter at 618-252-5400, ext. 2245.