APAC-Kansas donates Roadtec paver to spur interest in diesel technician careers

Photo: Salina Tech     Photo: Salina Tech

APAC-Kansas Inc., an Oldcastle company, donated a 2003 Roadtec asphalt paver valued at $20,000 to Salina Area Technical College and treated students students and faculty to a BBQ lunch, ksal.com reports.

Mike Warren, equipment manager for APAC-Kansas in Salina, and area manager Jason Heis told the news agency that the company wanted to donate the paver so Salina Tech students could become familiar with its systems and discover opportunities for diesel technicians other than working on trucks or agricultural equipment.

Warren, who is on the advisory board for Salina Tech’s Diesel Tech program and the advisory board for the Commercial Truck Driving program, explained that the company goes to job fairs around the state on a regular basis looking for skilled employees. “We’re excited about getting young people into these careers. We’re reaching out to high school kids and showing them there are other career paths besides going through four years of college.”

Students learned that Apac’s parent company, Oldcastle, has 18,000 employees spread across 48 states and is involved in paving, mining, construction, architectural glass and many other fields.

“Once you’re working for us, you can transfer anywhere in the country,” Warren told the students, according to the news agency. “If your girlfriend wants to move back East, you can go with her and have a good job waiting for you. I started out as a diesel technician with the company myself, after going to a tech school in Oklahoma, and I’ve moved up in the company over the years.”

Scott Cunningham, Human Resources Manager with Apac in Hutchinson, told the news agency that it’s important to build partnerships with technical colleges like Salina Tech, because it encourages students to consider coming to work at the company.

“Gone are the days when people beat your door down to work for you, and stayed until they died,” Cunningham told the news agency. “We’ve got to do what we can to attract people.”

Salina Tech’s Diesel Technology program offers students a two-year program leading to an Associate of Applied Science degree. High school students enrolling in the program at the beginning of their junior year can return to Salina Tech to complete the remaining requirements for the degree one year after graduation. Tuition for high school students is free. Salina Tech, which was founded in 1965, has 15 full-time programs in which students can pursue either a Technical Certificate or an Associate of Applied Science degree.