Diesel technology classes will begin the first week of September at Delaware Technical Community College’s new Middletown Center, which also will offer certificate programs for heavy equipment operators, small-engine repair and construction safety.

The opening of the Middletown Center is the latest example of Delaware Tech’s response to the demands of the local workforce, which is currently in need of trained and certified diesel mechanics.

Middletown offered the college space for the new center at 500 N. Cass St., which also houses the town’s maintenance and inspections department. The Delaware Department of Labor has provided a grant to fund the first diesel technology class of nine students.

“These important training programs are critical to fulfill the needs of Delaware’s workforce,” said Delaware Tech President Mark T. Brainard. “We very much appreciate our partnership with Middletown and the state of Delaware to help bring this training to our local residents and look forward to putting trained mechanics and heavy equipment operators to work in our state very soon.”

The Middletown Center also will offer a home repair class for women and will offer courses to Middletown and Appoquinimink high school students pursuing career pathways in manufacturing and construction. The pathways program will serve approximately 50 high school students and include training for highway construction and manufacturing production.

“The town of Middletown is proud to be partners with DelTech in this new center that will not only provide learning for invaluable trades like diesel mechanics and heavy equipment operators, but even more exciting will be the Middletown area jobs filled by the future graduates of this program,” said Middletown Mayor Kenneth L. Branner Jr. “We couldn’t help but jump on board with this forward-thinking endeavor that will benefit this town as well as the entire state.”

The center will include simulation equipment that mimics operating heavy machinery such as excavators, bulldozers and snowplows. The diesel technology certification training will focus on preventative maintenance and brakes. While the center will initially focus on short-term workforce training programs, its offerings could expand depending upon the needs of the local community. A grand opening ceremony for the center is planned for later this fall.

For more, call 266-3400, email maggie.jones@dtcc.edu or visit dtcc.edu.