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Four Star Freightliner is taking the initiative when it comes to training its heavy equipment mechanics. Owner, Jerry Kocan, understands the importance of proper training and the opportunities available to qualified mechanics. Kocan, has owned the company since 1999 and witnessed first hand, what a good training program can accomplish.

The new pilot program was created when Kocan and his training coordinator, David Carroll, realized how bad the shortage of good heavy truck mechanics really was. When Kocan purchased the Dothan and Montgomery Freightliner operations, he looked for ways to improve the way they operated. One of the first things he noticed was the training programs involving heavy equipment mechanics and how few top notch mechanics were available for employment.

The new Freightliner training program is offered through Lurleen B. Wallace Community College at the Macarthur Campus located in Opp. It offers special courses for heavy machinery mechanics who work in various industries including diesel trucks, offshore drilling, natural gas, and railroad transportation. Courses are designed to provide each candidate with the skills they need to help them reach their goals as a leader in their chosen field.

Students who enter the Freightliner program are eligible to receive scholarships from companies like Four Star and other giants in the trade who understand the need for qualified, highly skilled mechanics who continually meet or exceed expectations of their employers.

Working on heavy machinery is a unique career. Being able to troubleshoot and diagnose problems in large pieces of equipment takes skill and efficiency. It also means being able to keep a company moving forward without financial loss. Every time a machine breaks down, money is lost. The longer it is down the more money the company loses. A knowledgeable mechanic will have the machine up and running in as short a time as possible.

With the recent graduation of its first two students, Four Star Freightliner's program is well on its way to increasing the number of available of heavy machinery mechanics available for employment. His goal is to make sure every student mechanic who graduates with a degree from the program will always have job opportunities waiting on them.

“There’s a lot of opportunity on the service and maintenance path. If we don’t take the skills and give (prospective industry workers) direction, then we can’t complain that there aren’t enough people in our industry,” said Kocan.