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Careerline Tech Center's heavy machinery program wins state excellence award

The Diesel and Heavy Equipment Mechanics program was one of two in the state to win the award from the Department of Education last month.
Credit: Courtesy photo
Photo L – R: Careerline Tech Center Director Dave Searles, Diesel/HEM instructor Kevin Wiersma, Diesel/HEM instructor Jason Alberda, Diesel/HEM parapro Dale DeLange, and Diesel/HEM parapro Alan VanderKlok.

HOLLAND, Mich. — Instructors from the Careerline Tech Center received an excellence award from the Michigan Department of Education for their work in preparing students for careers and high education. 

The instructors, Kevin Wiersma, Jason Alberda, Dale DeLange, and Alan VanderKlok, are part of the tech center's Diesel and Heavy Equipment Mechanics program. They were all awarded the Dept. of Education's Career and Technical Education Program Excellence in Practice Award in the CTE Outstanding Program category on Jan. 27 at the 2020 Michigan Career Education Conference in Grand Rapids. 

The award recognizes exemplary practices in preparing students for careers and higher education. Winning programs, like the one at Careerline Tech Center, demonstrate outstanding outcomes, produce measurable results for students and lead to documented success in employment, training or higher education. 

The CTC Diesel/HEM program was one of only two programs in Michigan to receive this award.

"Students in the Diesel/HEM program are pursued by employers," Assistant Superintendent of Career & Technical Education for OAISD Valorie Putnam. The students of the CTC Diesel/HEM program receive first-class learning experience and foundations for fulfilling futures. 

In the 2018-19 school year, Diesel/HEM students participated in 29 different work-based learning experiences with 17 local businesses, as well as apprenticeship and scholarship opportunities, according to a press release from the tech center. 

“Our committed instructors, supportive CTC Advisory Board and Board of Education, and strong leadership help make our program what it is today,” Diesel/HEM instructor for CTC Kevin Wiersma said. “We are honored to receive this award.” 

Students who complete two years of the Diesel/HEM program receive OSHA 10-hour General Industry training, receive Hi-Lo training and take the State of Michigan Engine Repair and Electrical Systems certification tests, most at no cost to them.

Students who successfully complete the course are able to gain immediate employment as a Diesel Technician. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the median pay of Diesel Technicians was $47,350 per year in 2018.

Operated by Ottawa Area ISD, Careerline Tech Center prepares high school juniors and seniors for tomorrow's workforce by providing career and technical education in 28 career areas. CTC serves students from public and private high schools, as well as homeschools, within the following local school districts: Allendale, Coopersville, Grand Haven, Hamilton, Holland, Hudsonville, Jenison, Saugatuck, Spring Lake, West Ottawa, and Zeeland. 

Learn more about Careerline Tech Center at www.careetlinetech.org.

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