ECCC president visits diesel school


The new president of East Central Community College visited the Diesel Equipment Technology program facility in Philadelphia on Monday to see how the facility will impact future students interested in diesel mechanics and truck driving. 

“Our program provides the opportunity to offer classes that other community colleges don’t have, so you can get a first-rate education on being a diesel mechanic,” said Dr. Brent Gregory. “We are one of just six community colleges in the state that offer this."

Gregory said the overall size and newness of the machinery are just not commonplace across the community college system. 

“There were different projects going on in every room,” he said. “The more hands-on experience you get, the better off you will be. It was great to see all the work going on over there.” 

Gregory noted that the truck driving simulator offered by the sister program of East Central is a great way for students to learn the basics of driving a truck, and they were able to purchase a brand new 18-wheeler to use in the class. 

“I got to participate in the simulation, and that’s how they start individuals out,” he said. “We can only take two people per class due to COVID, but we have a group about to graduate, and we’ll start again with the next two soon after.”

Gregory said he’s looking forward to future East Central partnerships. 

“We’re extremely excited about the partnerships we have. Philadelphia is the hub for East Central  opportunities,” he said.  

Community Development Partnership President David Vowell saw Dr. Gregory’s visit to the facility as a good way to strengthen the relationship East Central has with Neshoba County. 

“It’s goos to show what we have out there in terms of work force, and we wanted to show him everything we had,” Vowell said. “He was very pleased with it and enjoyed getting on the truck driving simulator.”

Vowell said this is the second year of diesel technology classes, and 13 people are participating in them this year. 

“We’re very pleased with Dr. Gregory’s commitment and support to Neshoba County,” he said. “We’re looking forward to more opportunities with him and East Central Community College.” 

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