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April 20, 2022

Original Article – Frontiersman

Wasilla High School will be offering a Level One Kubota Diesel Technician certification program in the 2022-2023 school year. This is the latest in several technical career certifications that the school offers through a partnership with the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3).

“One of the reasons why we really picked this certification, and we’ve been moving our programs in the direction we have, it’s because we’ve been looking at the need in the industry and where we can really get our students jobs,” Wasilla High School Assistant Principal Tyler Gilligan said. “And there’s jobs all over the place for students with these kinds of credentials.”

Wasilla High School recently received the NC3 START Award for implementing technical and engineering courses in their school. Wasilla High School is the only school that offers these types of courses in Alaska.

The Kubota Diesel Technician certification is already attracting the interest of students.

“We can’t get the equipment here soon enough to start doing these programs,” Robert Gold, Career and Technical Education (CTE) teacher and certified Kubota instructor, said. “They’re wondering why we aren’t there yet.”

Students enrolled in the program can expect to learn about parts assembly, maintenance, and the operation of Kubota equipment. The course will span over a semester in length. Students will spend about 80% of their time in the shop and 20% in the classroom. There will also be opportunities to visit the Kubota dealership in Anchorage and other shops in the area.

Gold has an opportunity to become a Kubota Master Trainer with the implementation of this program. By receiving this certification, Gold could train Kubota Technicians outside of the high school.

“And then that way he could actually be doing some continuing education and training for local techs in Anchorage, Mat-Su, I mean, all across the state really,” Gillian said. That could come here and get updated on new training and techniques.”

Gilligan and others at the school are excited to offer students another career option once they graduate high school.

“I just think it’s going to be so important to be able to provide these students with another opportunity to where they’re not facing, ‘Oh, do I have to go to trade school? Or do I have to go to college?” Gillian said. “Some of them are going to be able to leave our doors ready to go into work and get more OJT, on-the-job training. But giving them an opportunity to take a different path and get right out there where they’re going to be successful.”

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