MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — Big trucks are essential to keeping our goods and economy moving. With the backlog we have seen amid the coronavirus pandemic, it has never been more important for qualified workers to keep those big rigs moving.

A lot of that training happens in a Middletown high school classroom. From welding to driving simulation, it is exactly what freshman Dominique Fontano needs to hopefully serve the country one day.

“I want to work on this type of equipment in the military,” she said.

This training and learning are exactly what the diesel industry needs right now to keep our economy moving.

“It’s getting more and more difficult to find qualified technicians,” said Mark Ouellette at Vinal Technical High School.

The Diesel and Heavy-Duty Equipment Repair program at Vinal Technical High School in Middletown not only has kids learning, but it also has students like junior Mohamed Sirafi already working, earning a paycheck.

“I do stuff like personal maintenance, preventative maintenance on trucks,” Sirafi said. “I do inspections. I make sure they’re in optimal shape for the road.”

There is such a demand for qualified workers in this field, that teachers say it is easy for them to call on industry leaders and request specific big equipment that they want their students to work on, and have it delivered at a moment’s notice.

Ouellette, the program’s director, said these future technicians will be the reason you have goods in stores and your home.

“They’ll learn everything from complete engine tear down, to the rebuild, how to rebuild it, diagnostics, electronics is really, really heavy, because everything in this industry is going electrical,” Ouellette said.

That is something the students can be proud of.

“I like the feeling of once I fix something, I see it on the road, I see all of these trucks in the middle of a storm,” Sirafi said. “I feel satisfaction with that.”

Watch previous editions of What’s Right With Schools here.