Ward Finds Success in OFTC’s Diesel Program
After graduating from Wilkinson County High School in 2017, Daniel Ward chose to enroll in the Diesel Equipment Technology Program at Oconee Fall Line Technical College (OFTC) because he heard of its outstanding reputation.
“I’ve always loved working on diesel engines and regular cars,” Ward shared. “I like working with my hands and fixing things, so when I graduated high school I decided to enroll in classes at OFTC because I heard their diesel program was the best.”
After only a year in the program, Ward’s work ethic and talent have set him apart. “During his first semester Daniel was very much an introvert,” said OFTC Diesel Equipment Technology Instructor, Brent Redfern. But towards the end of his first semester Ward began to find his way.
“Daniel has really started opening up and he’s truly taken on a student-leadership role amongst his classmates,” Redfern said.
He arrives to class early and stays late and always goes above and beyond to make sure that he knows and understands the information before him, Redfern added. “He sets the bar for work ethic that everyone should follow.”
Nearing the end of his second semester, Ward continues to excel. He recently became student-certified through the National Industry of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) in Truck Brake Systems and Diesel Electrical and Electronic systems.
He also placed seventh in the state of Georgia for Diesel Equipment Technology at the SkillsUSA completion in March.
“He doesn’t back down from any challenge that I put before him,” Redfern said. “He is eager to help out in the lab, learn new techniques, and assist in keeping the fleet of trucks in the commercial truck driving program operational.”
“My time at OFTC has been excellent and I feel like the hands-on experiences I’ve had working on the diesel trucks at the college have prepared me with the skills I will need for a career in diesel,” Ward said.
And many students like Ward are learning the skills they need for careers in the diesel field while paying little out of pocket thanks to the Hope Career Grant which provides free tuition to students interested in one of 17 programs where there are plenty of jobs.