On November 9, the Bridging Communities Regional Career and Technical Center in New Kent received the donation of a 2001 Thomas Freightliner bus from Carter Machinery Company, Inc. The bus will be used by instructor Steven Patt to train his dual enrollment students in the skills needed to earn a Diesel Mechanics Technician certificate. The certificate means that students will earn six high school credits, and 32 college credits from Rappahannock Community College.
As Bill Reinholtz, corporate development manager for Carter, delivered the keys of the fully-functioning bus to representatives of the Bridging Communities Foundation, he stated, “We are extremely pleased to be able to donate this bus to the Foundation and the Center. We see this as an investment in the students, their future, and the future of the industry.”
According to Patt, “The bus will be used ‘bumper to bumper’ to train our students in all facets of diesel and heavy equipment maintenance and repair.” Dr. Stephen Trexler, the Center’s director, noted, “Having unlimited access to equipment like this bus is critical if we are to provide our students with the hands-on training that they must experience to be successful in today’s industry. The partnerships that we develop with business and industry leaders, like Mr. Reinholtz and Carter Machinery, allow our programs to train students using the most up-to-date equipment and technology.”
Established in 1952, Carter Machinery is a leading equipment, parts, and service provider, and the largest dealer of Caterpillar equipment in the United States. As its corporate development manager, Reinholtz travels throughout the state, but being a long-time Bridging Communities supporter and a member of the Center’s CTE Advisory Committee, he makes a point of assisting the diesel technology program whenever he can. He often speaks directly with the students about careers in the diesel equipment industry, and is always ready to provide technical assistance and resources.