Topeka Metro donates bus to Washburn Tech diesel motor program

The Dean of Washburn Tech gets behind the wheel of the new bus.

Stephanie Cannon

Washburn Tech and Topeka Metro partnered on March 24 to offer students enrolled in the Washburn Tech diesel motor program a chance to take their training to the next level.

“We just developed a new diesel motor program here at Washburn Tech and they always need diesel engines to work on,” said Jerry Farley, President of Washburn University. “This is a diesel engine they can then use as a training aide as long as it holds together.”

This partnership between Topeka Metro and Washburn isn’t rare. Washburn works with many community partners in order to provide their students with the best training materials avaliable.

“What we like to do is to partner with companies so that our students can have real life experience working with real life situations. So if they can use a company’s equipment then they’re better prepared to go out to work when they finish their training here,” Farley said. “We have a great relationship with Topeka Metro on both the traditional campus and on Washburn Tech’s campus.“

Topeka Metro is also excited about the partnership between their business and both Washburn campuses.

“We’re thrilled to be able to give a working bus to Washburn Tech,” said Susan Duffy, General Manager of Topeka Metro.“We knew we were getting new busses, so last year we called around the community asking if anybody was needing an old bus so we could recycle it somehow. I called Dean Coco and he was excited so he put me in touch with Dr. Tatro and he was even more excited so we knew this was going to happen.”

As for the job prospects for diesel motor graduates, Farley believes that Washburn and Washburn Tech give local students the flexibility and options they need.

“What we offer through Washburn Tech is a pathway from high school, and getting a certificate, to an associate’s degree, to a baccalaureate degree and higher,” Farley said. “We want to expand the program so that more people have the opportunity to get skilled in an area which is popular right now with a lot of jobs out there.”

Duffy agrees and is excited about the newest addition to their staff.

“Our staff doesn’t turn over very often, because we’re a good place to work, but our latest hire, yes, is a graduate from Washburn Tech and we’re thrilled,” Duffy said.