On Sept. 3, 2015, the new Diesel Technology students from Ranken Wentzville took a field trip to UPS in Earth City to learn what a big corporation like UPS looks for when hiring diesel technicians.

“Do you know what you need to work here?” asked a UPS diesel technician, standing at his tool box, having just completed a job on one of UPS’s big over-the-road delivery rigs.

“A good attitude?” replied a student.

“Yes, that’s partly it. But what you really need is a diploma.” He finished by saying that to be a good technician, you needed all the skills and education that comes with a college degree. Diesel Technology program instructors Jeffrey Ermeling and Brien Dover, along with general education division chair Patsy Zettler, couldn’t agree more. They were happy to hear that UPS supported Ranken’s own mission.

The automotive fleet manager, Dwight Perry, went on to tell the students that being able to pay attention to details was important and so was having good communication skills—including good listening skills. This should have been no surprise to this group of students; they’ve been learning these skills in their career success skills class, their first general education class being taught simultaneously in the first semester with their Diesel class.

Using a long, two-sided form, Mr. Perry demonstrated how technicians at UPS must follow strict policies and procedures. “Safety is first,” he said. He added that following the preventative maintenance plan exactly how it is laid out is very important. New employees spend 22 days learning how to perform the plan. He passed the document around to the students, so they could see all the details on the sheet. He added that only the best people are selected to work there. The hiring process is very thorough. To support Mr. Perry’s message, back in school, the students will be learning resume writing and interviewing skills in the coming months. They will also focus on the desired work ethics companies like UPS are looking for.

When leaving, the students discussed what it would be like to work at UPS. “I can’t wait to start,” said first-semester Diesel student Alex Brommelhorst.

Working at UPS is a good goal for a diesel technical to have. Alex understands he’s got about two years of training to go with plenty of courses to put under his belt. The well-designed mix of his Diesel courses and General Education courses, along with that diploma, are what he needs to get him there. And, that’s the whole picture.