Navistar's dealer network employs 6,000 technicians. The parent company of IC Bus indicates it is dedicated to recruiting and educating technicians toward success.  -  Photo: Navistar

Navistar's dealer network employs 6,000 technicians. The parent company of IC Bus indicates it is dedicated to recruiting and educating technicians toward success.

Photo: Navistar

In honor of National Technician Appreciation Week from Sept. 24-30, Navistar recognizes the hard-working technicians across its dealer network and announces the graduation of its second Uptime Academy class.

Navistar’s dealer network employs more than 6,000 technicians, and Navistar is dedicated to the recruitment, education, and success of the vast technician network. As part of that commitment, Navistar has donated equipment to various educational institutions.

“From our Uptime Academy program to simply connecting with our technicians through continuing education, there is no shortage of passion and heart in our dealer service network,” said Ana Salcido, technician recruitment manager. “Our technicians are the men and women getting their hands dirty with our vehicles on a daily basis, and their enthusiasm inspires us.”

Navistar recently graduated the 2022-2023 Uptime Academy class, which consisted of 18 apprentices. Officially launched in 2021, Uptime Academy is a 12-month apprenticeship program for high school graduates that offers hands-on training to prepare for a career as technician. The apprenticeship includes 3,200 hours of real-world experience along with 800 hours of classroom time and lab work. Navistar and its dealer network have worked together to customize training units to match their specific needs. Graduates are prepared to service multiple International truck and IC Bus vehicle types, including electric and fuel cell technologies.

Hill International technician JT Hojonski graduated from Uptime Academy’s inaugural class, where he was quickly hired as a triage technician. Growing up exposed to trucks through his truck driver father, Hojonski originally went to school to service agricultural equipment, but quickly became fascinated with diesel vehicles, specifically International trucks and their electrical systems. Now, Hojonski has three years under his belt at Hill International, is a lead technician, and is gearing up to mentor his own Uptime Academy apprentice in the 2023-2024 class.

“At a dealership, you are the first and last in line; you sell customers the truck and continue to service it for hundreds of thousands of miles,” said Hojonski. “Much of what you run across is something complex and challenging, and you have to be ready for anything. Don’t be afraid of change because we are in an everchanging industry and knowing the cutting-edge technology is vital.”

To further aid technician education, dealers from around the U.S. have donated equipment to local colleges and technical programs through Navistar’s TECH EmPOWERment initiative. The TECH EmPOWERment initiative was officially established to assist in technician recruitment, training, retention and donation efforts.

Recent donations by International truck dealers include:

  • Lonoke Public School District in Lonoke, Arkansas by Rush Truck Centers.
  • Southern Illinois University diesel program by Navistar Research & Development (R&D).
  • St. Louis Community College in St. Louis, Missouri by Rush Truck Centers.
  • Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Clarksville, Tennessee by Tri-State International, Inc.
  • Hendrickson USA in Woodridge, Illinois by Navistar R&D.
  • WTI Foundation in Laramie, Wyoming by McCandless International.
  • Trenholm State Community College in Montgomery, Alabama by Southland Transportation Group.
  • Ranken Technical College in Wentzville, Missouri by Rush Enterprises.
  • Ventura College in Ventura, California by Gibbs Truck.
  • Palomar Community College in San Marcos, California by Cal Pacific Truck Center.
  • Wayne County Schools Career Center in Smithville, Ohio by Rush Truck Centers.
  • Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama by Southland Transportation Group.
  • Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan by West Michigan International.
  • Louisiana Delta Community College in Monroe, Louisiana by Scott Truck.
  • Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas.
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