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Navistar Honors Technicians, Graduates of Second Uptime Academy, Donates Equipment For Education

Tue September 26, 2023 - National Edition

Navistar recently graduated the 2022-2023 Uptime Academy class, which consisted of 18 apprentices.
Navistar recently graduated the 2022-2023 Uptime Academy class, which consisted of 18 apprentices.

In honor of National Technician Appreciation Week from Sept. 24-30, Navistar Inc. recognized the hardworking technicians across its dealer network and announced the graduation of its second Uptime Academy class.

Navistar's dealer network employs more than 6,000 technicians, and Navistar is dedicated to the recruitment, education and success of the vast technician network. As part of that commitment, Navistar has donated equipment to various educational institutions.

"From our Uptime Academy program to simply connecting with our technicians through continuing education, there is no shortage of passion and heart in our dealer service network," said Ana Salcido, technician recruitment manager.

"Our technicians are the men and women getting their hands dirty with our vehicles on a daily basis, and their enthusiasm inspires us."

Navistar recently graduated the 2022-2023 Uptime Academy class, which consisted of 18 apprentices.

Officially launched in 2021, Uptime Academy is a 12-month apprenticeship program for high school graduates that offers hands-on training to prepare for a career as technician. The apprenticeship includes 3,200 hours of real-world experience along with 800 hours of classroom time and lab work.

Navistar and its dealer network have worked together to customize training units to match their specific needs. Graduates are prepared to service multiple International truck and IC Bus vehicle types, including electric and fuel cell technologies.

Hill International technician JT Hojonski graduated from Uptime Academy's inaugural class, where he was quickly hired as a triage technician. Growing up exposed to trucks through his truck driver father, Hojonski originally went to school to service agricultural equipment, but quickly became fascinated with diesel vehicles, specifically International trucks and their electrical systems. Now, Hojonski has three years under his belt at Hill International, is a lead technician and is gearing up to mentor his own Uptime Academy apprentice in the 2023-2024 class.

"At a dealership, you are the first and last in line; you sell customers the truck and continue to service it for hundreds of thousands of miles," said Hojonski. "Much of what you run across is something complex and challenging, and you have to be ready for anything. Don't be afraid of change because we are in an everchanging industry and knowing the cutting-edge technology is vital."

To further aid technician education, dealers from around the United States have donated equipment to local colleges and technical programs through Navistar's TECH EmPOWERment initiative. The TECH EmPOWERment initiative was officially established to assist in technician recruitment, training, retention and donation efforts.

Recent donations by International truck dealers include:

  • Lonoke Public School District in Lonoke, Ark., by Rush Truck Centers
  • Southern Illinois University diesel program by Navistar Research & Development (R&D)
  • St. Louis Community College in St. Louis, Mo., by Rush Truck Centers
  • Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Clarksville, Tenn., by Tri-State International Inc.
  • Hendrickson USA in Woodridge, Ill., by Navistar R&D
  • WTI Foundation in Laramie, Wyo., by McCandless International
  • Trenholm State Community College in Montgomery, Ala., by Southland Transportation Group
  • Ranken Technical College in Wentzville, Mo., by Rush Enterprises
  • Ventura College in Ventura, Calif., by Gibbs Truck
  • Palomar Community College in San Marcos, Calif., by Cal Pacific Truck Center
  • Wayne County Schools Career Center in Smithville, Ohio, by Rush Truck Centers
  • Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa, Ala., by Southland Transportation Group
  • Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich., by West Michigan International
  • Louisiana Delta Community College in Monroe, La., by Scott Truck
  • Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas

For more information, visit

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