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North Dakota companies create programs to recruit diesel techs

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- Automotive and heavy equipment dealerships in North Dakota are helping pay students' college costs in order to guarantee a diesel mechanic workforce.

The North Dakota Implement Dealers Association and Automobile Dealers Association of North Dakota say there are hundreds of openings across the state. Ann Pollert with General Equipment & Supplies Inc. says the demand is ''crazy.''

General Equipment is paying up to 90 percent of students' loans in exchange for a three-year work commitment. Other companies are implementing similar programs.

RDO Equipment has about 200 open positions companywide, both in and out of the state. A third of those are diesel technicians. The company is offering internship and apprenticeship programs that include college cost reimbursements.