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Diesel Jam supports trade school students and women in the industry

The annual event funds scholarships for trade school students. This year, there's a special focus on women in the diesel industry.

DICKSON CITY, Pa. — Big rigs, wreckers, those old school two-tone pickup trucks—if it runs on diesel fuel,  chances are you'll see it this weekend in Lackawanna County

Jamie and Sydney Barhite are more than comfortable around big trucks and heavy machinery. But they admit being surrounded by mostly men on the job can be intimidating.

"If you keep your head focused, if this is something you're truly interested in, it's not impossible. It is possible for women to be in this industry," Jamie said.

"A lot of times, young women don't have an insight into what we do. And I feel like there's a lot of passion behind it if you realize that you like this," Syndey said.

Their fathers run Barhite Excavating out of Clifford, so the cousins grew up in the diesel industry.

But a lot of young women aren't exposed to it. The Barhites hope an event this weekend inspires more girls to get in on the action.

"If they see us doing it, maybe they won't be as intimidated," Jamie said.

On Saturday, the Circle Drive-In will be jammed with trucks and heavy equipment of all kinds. Diesel Jam offers kids and adults a chance to get up close and personal with it all. But it also helps support students getting into the trades.

Kristin Hauenstein is headed to Penn Tech for heavy diesel mechanics, thanks to a scholarship funded by Diesel Jam.

"This means the absolute world to me. I love the fact that more girls are getting into this field."

The scholarships help companies like Hunter Truck in the long run.

"Hunter Truck is a full dealership; we have mechanics, and the trade schools are great for that. Trying to build a career for these individuals is a great thing," said general manager Justin Morgan.

All of this is done in the name of Andrew Mazza, a young man with a passion for the diesel industry, who lost his life seven years ago in a car crash at the age of 23.

His dad is grateful for this event every year.

"It's a great honor. I know he's smiling down," Phil Mazza said.

The event is free to attend. It's taking place Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Circle Drive-In in Dickson City, Lackawanna County. You can find more information here.

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