BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — The Illinois Soybean Association welcomed the Lewis and Clark Community College as an affiliated partner of the B20 Club of Illinois. They recently sponsored an Automotive Service Excellence training session for the students in the college’s Department of Automotive Technology in partnership with MEG Corp.
The three-hour-long training session taught students new skills to add to their resume, including the ability to diagnose drivability issues with on-road and off-road equipment, understanding a simple process for testing fuel quality and analyzing fuel types to determine if there is a contaminated fuel issue.
“It’s an awesome opportunity because it gives community college students a perspective that many of them haven’t experienced before,” said Chris Reynolds, coordinator of the Automotive Technology Department and associate professor at L&C. “A lot of our students come from urban areas and don’t recognize the potential each time they drive past a field. This training allows them to have a better appreciation for the rural communities that support their vehicular performance on highways from coast to coast.”
The B20 Club is a partnership between the ISA checkoff program and the American Lung Association that recognizes a select group of Illinois-based organizations with a strong commitment to run fleets on biodiesel blends of 20% or greater.
ASE training was created in 2012 and was designed to educate trainees about biodiesel and biodiesel blends. Fifteen students at L&C’s Department of Automotive Technology attended the training this year.
Of the 6,721 tons of biodiesel used across all B20 Club members 2,320 vehicles have been fueled with biodiesel and contributed to an estimated $700,700 in health savings thanks to its environmental impact.
“We want to be a program that not only supports the needs of the rural sectors that we already serve, but also the urban sectors that a significant number of our students come from,” Reynolds said. “If we can provide them hands-on learning experiences and point them toward a successful career path, then we have done our job as a community college.”