Stories @ TCAT

DICKSON, Tenn. – (August 18, 2022) – Students in Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) Dickson’s diesel-powered equipment technology program will benefit from new hands-on learning opportunities thanks to a recent donation from WM. Jennifer McKay, Sr. Communications Specialist – MID SOUTH, presented a retired waste collection truck to Dr. Arrita Summers, President of TCAT Dickson, and Tommy Yarbrough, Diesel Powered Equipment Instructor, during a recent campus visit. McKay along with other representatives from WM spoke to students about the urgent need for more trained technicians across the industry, noting that supply chain challenges have made it increasingly difficult to purchase a new truck and that maintaining the current fleet as it ages has become more important than ever.

“We have developed an apprentice program to help train more technicians, but quite literally can’t train folks fast enough to keep up with the demand,” said Scott Harp, WM Area Fleet Field Support Manager. “I’m inspired to see the energy and interest among students at TCAT Dickson, and we’re so glad to see one of our trucks get a second life and help them continue to learn and refine their skills.”

The diesel-powered equipment technology program at TCAT is a 20-month program through which students receive instruction in preventative maintenance, troubleshooting, engine analysis, disassembling engines, replacing defective parts, reassembling, and more.

“The donation of the WM Mack disposal truck will provide years of valuable live experience for our students,” noted Yarbrough, the diesel technician program instructor. “Having a truck with the fully functioning disposal bed not only gives us an opportunity to have hands-on experience with the truck engine and drivetrain, but it also offers something we didn’t have with all the live hydraulic system that goes along with the bed.”

Tyler Robinson, a student in the diesel technician program, noted how that live experience would benefit him – as well as students in years to come. “I wanted to express our gratitude for the donation of the WM disposal truck. As a student in our program, I will be able to gain necessary hands-on experience as well as benefit future students,” Robinson noted.

“Increasing the quality of training opportunities is a top priority for the college. Having a truck such as this being provided by WM provides an opportunity to practice and master many of the curriculum competencies,” said Dr. Summers. “Beyond this, having five WM representatives come and speak with the students about the industry at large, including career opportunities, opens the eyes of the students to possibilities beyond graduation. Our partnership with WM serves to strengthen our program and we are very appreciative of their generosity.”

WM currently has open technician positions across its Mid-South service area and is accepting applications for its apprenticeship program to help train new workers on an ongoing basis. To learn more about these opportunities, visit





WM, based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management environmental services in North America, providing services throughout the United States and Canada. Through its subsidiaries, the Company provides collection, transfer, disposal services, and recycling and resource recovery. It is also a leading developer, operator and owner of landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. The Company’s customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America. To learn more information about WM, visit