ABINGDON, Virginia (WJHL) — Food City donated a retired tractor truck to Virginia Highlands Community College’s Department of Diesel Mechanics on Monday.
News Channel 11 spoke to the college’s president, Dr. Adam Hutchison, who said the college couldn’t afford this equipment on its own and was thankful for the donation so students could learn and work with new technology.
“This is exactly what we feel being a community college means,” Hutchison said. “We’re tied to our community, and so as we work with our local employers and we’re developing workforce for them — we’re training individuals to join the workforce locally — our relationship with Food City like this brings some equipment back to the college to make sure our students are learning on the newest, best technology.
“It means all the world. Frankly, this is a piece of equipment we probably could not have afforded on our own, so to have a great community partner like Food City makes all the difference in the world for our students.”
Food City President and CEO Steve Smith believes that it’s important to give young people the ability and experience with this technology to prepare them for the workforce.
“We actually hired two of their graduates to work in our truck maintenance facility — absolutely great associates,” Smith said. “We just retired several trucks from our fleet, so this is a 2013 Volvo diesel, and we wanted to donate this to help them actually have hands-on experience with a real tractor.”
According to Hutchison, the diesel mechanics program at Virginia Highlands Community College continues to grow, with a department building opening soon on the main campus.