Dairy to Diesel: Career Change Simple with Rural MN CEP
1 Nov 2021
News, Found Article
The average jobseeker may find it difficult making a connection between dairy farmer and diesel mechanic. For Michael Anez, however, it was a natural transition.
“We were always working with the mechanics who came to work on the tractors at our dairy farm,” said Anez. “They convinced me to look into becoming a diesel mechanic.”
That is exactly what Anez is after completing the diesel mechanic program at Central Lakes College (CLC) in Staples. In about one year, with a little help from the Rural Minnesota Concentrated Employment Program (CEP), Anez went from working on a dairy farm to working on agricultural equipment at Midwest Machinery in his hometown of Little Falls.
“I love what I am doing, mostly because everyday day is never the same,” he said.
Becoming a Mechanic
Anez had been in the dairy industry in Little Falls when he quit his job to start the 11-month program at CLC in the fall of 2020. He went through the Diesel Equipment Technician Associate of Applied Science Degree program, which beyond the diploma program, includes a commercial driver's license training and 15 credits of general education courses. Upon completion, students are ready for careers in maintenance, repair and diagnostics of a broad range of diesel equipment.
Anez was hired at Midwest Machinery in July, which was the company he targeted when he first began the CLC program because he knew they were hiring and it allowed him to stay in agriculture.