Nearly fifty students of the “Higher Education Technician in Heavy Equipment Mechanics” program taught by CEDUC UCN are part of the first generation of beneficiaries of the Technical Education for Communities (TEC) program, supported, in Chile, by Komatsu Cummins Group, Los Pelambres Mine and also the educational institution’s staff.
The Choapa campus of CEDUC UCN Technical Training Center was created in 2018 thanks to an agreement signed with Los Pelambres through its Foundation, which delivered the resources to set up the educational infrastructure where more than 500 students are pursuing their higher education degrees. This is the place which will have two specialized repair shops due to Komatsu and Cummins’ TEC program.
Both establishments were equipped with five ISF 3.8 engines, five rollovers, a truck’s transmission, a hydraulic cylinder, a torque converter and electrical mockups, among other articles delivered by Komatsu and Cummins. With these tools, the students will be able to learn by using technology currently used in the heavy equipment industry.
With the opening of these shops, the first part of a long-term effort, starting on the second half of 2018, ended. This part included the curriculum’s redesign, training activities in Santiago for teachers of the program, and negotiations with companies to establish internships for CEDUC UCN’s students.
Carlos Soto, Komatsu’s CEO, valued the effect this program will have on the area. “We want to thank Los Pelambres Mine and CEDUC for allowing us to conjointly participate in this great initiative, to help building Choapa province’s social development, and to, especially, support young students who will have a better professional future” said the executive.
Fabrio Magrin, Cummins’ CEO, highlighted the program’s result, with its wide scope, indicating that “we do not exaggerate when we say this is a milestone for us. However, this program would be useless without the motivation of the other party involved: the students, eager to achieve a better professional prospect both in these shops and in the classrooms.”
For Mauricio Larraín, Los Pelambres Mine CEO, “this alliance with Komatsu and Cummins will set the base to strengthen the efforts performed by Los Pelambres and CEDUC UCN on 2018. Preparing the repair shops with this level of technology and equipment will allow the students to improve their internships’ working environment, helping them to be in the best shape to enter the labor market.”
It should be noted that the TEC program is a worldwide initiative, created by Cummins Inc., with 22 projects in 14 countries. The purpose of this program is to strengthen education by boosting young student’s technical skills in order to prepare them for current labor market.
In Chile, this plan was promoted by Cummins and Komatsu, with the support of Los Pelambres Mine and CEDUC UCN.
This year, on March, 54 students joined the program and only 5 of them where women. Therefore, there are still gender-related issues to tackle, considering one of TEC’s objectives is rising women’s participation on the classroom and in this industry.