2020 Spring | Idaho State University

POCATELLO–The Idaho State University College of Technology has been awarded a more than $2.3 million grant to construct a new technical education facility to train students in diesel power generation systems. 

The Economic Development Administration awarded the grant to Idaho State because the demand for a trained workforce is critical. Idaho State is one of only two schools in the nation that provide specific training in on-site power generation. The curriculum at ISU mirrors industry’s needs by preparing technicians who can service all varieties of generators.

“The hands-on training our graduates receive in this program not only prepares them for successful careers, but also meets a critical workforce need in our communities,” said President Kevin Satterlee. “Receiving this grant will help us to expand opportunities and meet an ever-growing demand.”

The grant announcement was made by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. The grant will be matched with additional fundraising from donors and commitments by the University. This facility addition will complete the William M. and Karin A. Eames Advanced Technical Education and Innovations Complex on Alvin Ricken Drive.

“Idaho State University’s expertise, working with this EDA grant, will benefit our state in many different ways and for many years to come,” said U.S. Senator Mike Crapo. “This endeavor adds fuel to our cutting-edge training initiatives in Idaho and will benefit our workforce in much-needed technical fields while supporting continued economic growth in Idaho.”

The placement rate of graduates from the ISU program is 100 percent, and industry demand currently exceeds the number of graduates. Students who graduate with this training are able to perform preventative engine maintenance checks and services, diagnose and repair electrical problems, parallel or put two generators in series, install and repair transfer switches, gain experience troubleshooting/diagnosing mechanical or electrical problems, become well acquainted with programmable logic controls and provide guidance to customers in residential, industrial, or commercial applications for backup power.

The diesel power generation systems training started at ISU in 1978, and has evolved to meet industry needs. Today, the program remains a national leader.

“This generous grant is a game changer for the College of Technology and will allow for the completion of the Eames Complex project,” said Dean R. Scott Rasmussen. “This monumental show of support will allow the College of Technology to be a national leader in diesel electric and power generation education. With the growing national need for emergency on-site power generation, this new facility will allow the program to increase the number of skilled technicians to provide a workforce in high demand for today and tomorrow.”