Wisconsin’s first Diesel Technician intern

June 14, 2013

From weau.com: “Wisconsin’s first Diesel Technician intern” — With summer vacation finally upon us, some local students are looking to work rather than relax in the sun.

The Youth Apprenticeship program has run through the Department of Workforce Development to help Eau Claire Area School District students for a little more than a decade. But one local high school student at North High School is getting an opportunity that no one else in Wisconsin can say they’ve done.

“I rather be doing this then something else, better than sitting at home,” said Kohl Lamke, North High School student.

Getting dirty and working on heavy equipment is what Kohl Lamke calls summer vacation.

“Grew up liking trucks and anything that can move dirt worked for a couple farms, just wanted to work on something I like to do,” said Lamke.

Now Kohl can say he’s the only one in the state working as a Diesel Technician as a high school student.

“I was surprised when they told me that I was the first one to go through because I thought more people would be into this,” Lamke.

“He himself made the first contact out here at Nortrax,” said Kristan Motszko, ECASD School to Careers Coordinator.

Eric Hutchins the Service Manager at Nortrax in Chippewa Falls says he wishes he had this opportunity because his first semester in college he worked toward being a teacher.

“Give them an opportunity if that’s something they want to do, versus going to school spending the money, getting into the mainstream and deciding it isn’t what they wanted to do,” said Hutchins.

Kohl even gets the chance to work on equipment like a 70,000 pound articulated dump truck during his year long internship.

Kristan says each student completes around 450 hours of hands on experience over the course of a year.

“He’ll do coursework. He’ll do hands on work. He’ll travel with a field technician out to job sites. He’ll work with skilled people, anything from cleaning to services to adjustments on equipment,” said Hutchins.

It’s more than just work that students like Kohl get to learn.

“Showing up on time, doing what you’re asked, taking initiative to do something. Don’t just stand around and wait to be told what to do,” said Motszko.

“Industry wide has a shortage of people and to have students and people interested in the career is exciting,” said Hutchins.

“You just gotta try it, if you don’t like it you’ll find out right away nothing hurts to try it,” said Lamke.

View video from weau.com



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