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Date: February 9, 2018
Contact: Brit Milazzo

Q&A with Student Ethan Corman of Heavy Diesel Construction AST Degree Program

Ethan Corman is a first-year adult student in the Heavy Diesel Construction Associate in Specialized Technology degree program. The two-year program, which rolled out in August 2017, provides an emphasis with Case Construction equipment, but also offers a strong foundation to work with numerous other types of diesel machinery.

Corman said he started in the Diesel Technology program at Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology while he was a sophomore at Bellefonte Area High School.

Question: How did you hear about the program?

Answer: I think they started talking about developing it when I was a junior in high school. I was in the program and I came out here (for) half days. Since I was like 13, my family has owned a tractor trailer company, so I helped there. I loved doing that, but after a while it gets old and I was up for a new challenge, so I looked into this. I used to come over and talk to (instructor) Mr. (Andrew) King all the time and see if he would give me updates. When I graduated, I was planning on going to another college in Ohio, but I caught wind they were starting this program and was like, ‘Yeah, I’m in.’

Q: What’s the program like so far?

A: It’s awesome. We get a lot of live work from heavy equipment to fleet to other jobs. We have about one to two theories a day, which is in-class work. We work off a program called CDX. It’s a program that has a PowerPoint slide, and then our homework assignments are on the computer and we have to do a chapter or two a week at minimum. I already had some certifications, but having the chance to get a refresher is awesome. I was hesitant about that at first, but then once I did it, I was thankful because there was some small stuff I didn’t remember.

Q: What do you think the easiest and hardest equipment is to work on?

A: It’s obviously different for everyone, but for me my favorite was skid-steers, but they’re also my least favorite. We started learning on it my junior year and it fought me the whole time. I remember I worked with my partner and it fought her and I for months until finally we got it. There was a lot of troubleshooting, and found it was a lot of small errors here and there, which caused a big difference in the outcome, but it was good once we got it fine-tuned.

Q: Where do you hope to go from here?

A: Honestly, there's a couple things that could happen. I know for the externship they might move us around. We work with Groff Tractor (and Equipment) that has a location in West Virginia and New jersey. I always wanted to travel and work out-of-state. That experience will help me figure it all out, and this program can give you a whole different opportunity in different places with different work -- not just with Case equipment.

Q: Is this a program you would suggest others take?

A: Absolutely. It’s a good program to get experience, and the knowledge you learn is unbelievable. Some employers look at this as good experience before hiring you. If you want to get a job, many employers want you to have one or two years of experience, and some places will look at this as that kind of experience because we run a live shop out of our program. It’s really hands-on and you learn everything you need.

CPI, 540 North Harrison Road, Pleasant Gap, PA 16823 - Telephone: 814-359-2793 1-877-968-7388    (Disclosures)