A partnership was formed on August 11th as the Ventura County Community College District Board of Trustees approved an action to establish a new Diesel Technology Program at Ventura College under a five-year, $900,000 agreement between Ventura College, Ventura College Foundation, and Gibbs Truck Centers. Chair Dianne McKay, Chancellor Bernard Luskin, and the Board of Trustees recognized Ed Gibbs, Sr., President/Owner, and his son, Ed Gibbs, General Manager/Owner, of Gibbs Truck Centers at a public Board meeting at the District Administrative Center in Ventura.
“The Board was pleased to approve this new community relationship with Gibbs Truck Centers. Building successful pathways for our students would not be possible without innovative partnerships. With the Gibbs’ support, we are able to provide students in Ventura County the education and experience needed to access both good and available job opportunities,” stated Board Chair Dianne McKay. Chancellor Bernard Luskin commented, “This Diesel Technology program represents the first of its kind in Ventura County. We feel privileged to create this program with Gibbs Truck Centers and appreciate the Gibbs’ generosity and vision.”
Their business needs for qualified mechanics inspired Ed Gibbs, Sr. and Ed Gibbs to fund the new program and create an onsite lab for students at Gibbs Truck Centers, which is headquartered in Oxnard. Matt LaVere, Ventura College Foundation Board Member, initiated discussions between the Gibbs, Ventura College, and the Ventura College Foundation. “Over the five-year term of our funding agreement, the program is expected to graduate 100-150 technicians with all the skills needed to succeed in our industry, from soft skills like customer service and ethics, to technical knowledge of engines,” said Ed Gibbs. Dr. Greg Gillespie, President of Ventura College, commented, “Ventura College is excited to have the opportunity to administer the program and supply faculty, students, and curriculum approved by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). Classes will start in fall 2016, and the first graduating class is anticipated in spring 2018.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities in the diesel technology field are expected to grow nine percent from 2012-2022. The national average pay was cited as $42,320 annually in 2012.