Engineering & General Contractors Association (EGCA) members have raised more than $180,000 for college scholarships in the past four years. All of the money has been given to the nonprofit educational EGCA Foundation.
Now these builders of roads and underground infrastructure are setting their sites on a new target: clean air technology. In a recent strategic planning retreat, EGCA leaders elected to launch a nationwide search for grants to fund a Clean Technology Diesel Equipment Program at local high schools and community colleges.
"We need to train a new generation of diesel mechanics in the latest clean air technology," said EGCA Vice President Mike Shaw, of El Cajon-based Perry & Shaw. "As manufacturers develop new clean engine Tier 3 and Tier 4 technology, we will still be using older machines retrofit with particulate traps, which create a special challenge like managing back pressures. We need mechanics who have specific training in these new technologies."
The engineering contractor organization has outlined a series of 40-hour and 80-hour college-level training programs in Clean Diesel Technology Advancement including specific courses in Verified Diesel Emissions Control Systems (VDECS), Maintenance and Troubleshooting and Green Diesel Program Administration.
"We have identified potential teachers and school programs," reported EGCA President Gene Brokaw, of Premier Pipeline, "now all we need is the funding. This is an exciting venture. I don't think people realize how committed our contractors are to assuring cleaner air and training their staff in the new technologies coming available to achieve our goals."