With financial support from Mosaic and Intrepid Potash, New Mexico State University Carlsbad is launching a new program that will help students studying for industrial maintenance work.

Both Mosaic and Intrepid Potash gave the college $350,000 each. The money will go toward purchasing equipment for students to get hands-on training.

Tony Chester of Mosaic told CurrentArgus.com that the equipment is going to be built specifically to the program’s needs by Amatrol Inc., a company that specializes in interactive learning solutions for industry and education. He said some machines will be programmed to have certain problems so that the students can learn how to troubleshoot as well as manage the equipment. Twenty-six pieces of the specialized equipment are planned to be ordered.

The program will have a mining focus, according to Chester, but the classes will prepare the students to work in the oil and gas industry as well as any trucking company.

NMSU Carlsbad President John Gratton explained that the two potash mining companies approached him asking that the college prepare new people to take their places.

“It’s not the norm to have two companies who compete with each other join with a college,” Gratton said. “It’s great to have two powerhouse companies join forces for the community’s sake.”

Getting both companies and the college to agree on the equipment and the curriculum initially challenged the plan. But curriculum team researched various equipment, procedures and technical skills needed in all industrial maintenance industries to develop the curriculum.

Students completing their training will receive a certificate.