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Minnesota State College Southeast
A Technical & Community College
MSC Southeast

Press Release
Contact: Katryn Conlin, Communications Director
Office: 651-385-6343

For immediate release  

Southeast Technical awarded $1.76 million federal grant to establish Diesel Maintenance diploma program

Winona, Minn. (September 27, 2013) - Last spring, Minnesota State College - Southeast Technical was invited to join a group of eight other community and technical colleges to establish the Mississippi River Transportation, Distribution and Logistics Consortium. Working closely with the consortium, which was led by Lewis and Clark Community College of St. Louis, Southeast Technical submitted a successful grant proposal to establish and deliver a Diesel Maintenance Technician diploma program. The award totals more than $1.76 million, which will be distributed to the College over the next four years.

The grant comes through the Department of Labor's Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Careering Training grant program, a multi-year, nearly $2 billion initiative to expand targeted training programs for unemployed workers, especially those impacted by foreign trade. 

All along the 2,300 mile stretch of the Mississippi River, businesses in transportation-related industries are poised to hire individuals for high-wage, high-skill occupations. At the same time, many unemployed veterans and other unemployed, underserved or low-income groups lack the training and skills they need to fill these positions. The Consortium member colleges will aim to match worker training programs to the needs of businesses in the region.

"Here at Southeast Technical, we are pleased to add a new program of study to be housed in our new state-of-the-art transportation facility," says Ron Sellnau, Vice President of Academic Affairs. "Along with Truck Driving, Auto Body Collision Technology and Automotive Technology, we will be able to offer our students training in the critical area of diesel engine maintenance. It's a natural expansion for us."

"We want to get the program up and running as soon as possible," adds Bob Leifeld, Dean of Trade and Technology. "Ideally, we will admit up to 18 students starting in the summer of 2014. We plan to schedule afternoon/evening classes to attract working adults, and we'll be able to offer credit for prior learning for students who have previous experience in the field, such as those with a background in military transportation."

Students will start with one semester of automotive undercar specialist certification, followed by two semesters of diesel mechanics, focusing on repair and maintenance of commercial trucks. The College will be investing the grant funding towards new equipment, infrastructure, curriculum development, academic support services and additional faculty to launch the Diesel Mechanic program.

"This is a positive move for Southeast Technical. It will be great for the institution as well as for industries in our region," says Bob Leifeld. "We will expand our leadership role in educating students for employment, and the Diesel Mechanic diploma will be a tremendous asset for our graduates."


Mississippi River Transportation, Distribution and Logistics Consortium

Lewis and Clark Community College (lead institution), Godfrey, IL
Minnesota State College - Southeast Technical, Winona, MN
Delgado Community College, New Orleans, LA
Hinds Community College, Raymond, MS
John Wood Community College, Quincy, IL
Mid-South Community College, West Memphis, AR
Southwest Tennessee Community Colleg,  Memphis, TN
St. Louis Community College, Bridgeton, MO
West Kentucky Community and Technical College, Paducah, KY


About Minnesota State College - Southeast Technical

With a clear mission of "Education for Employment," Minnesota State College - Southeast Technical provides students a strong foundation for acquiring the knowledge, skills, and attitudes they will need for a lifetime of learning. Its Winona and Red Wing campuses merged in 1992, becoming Minnesota State College - Southeast Technical in 1999. For more information, visit    


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RED WING CAMPUS | 308 Pioneer Road | Red Wing, MN 55066
WINONA CAMPUS | 1250 Homer Road | Winona, MN 55987
COLLEGE PHONE | 507-453-2700 | 877-853-8324

Minnesota State College Southeast is an affirmative action/equal opportunity educator and employer. ADA accessible. MSC Southeast is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in employment and education opportunity. No person shall be discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment, personnel practices, or access to and participation in, programs, services, and activities with regard to race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, or sexual orientation. In addition, discrimination in employment based on membership or activity in a local commission as defined by law is prohibited.


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