John Deere Donates Skid Steer to Technical College

As any dealer or contractor knows, expert technicians are crucial to operations involving heavy equipment. John Deere participates in training the technicians of the future. In fact, a recent donation of a John Deere skid steer to Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh, N.C., will provide students with the foundation they need to work on this type of equipment.

The skid steer donation is part of an ongoing partnership John Deere has with Wake Technical College, according to Richard Park, manager, Construction and Forestry (C&F) Technology, John Deere Construction & Forestry Company.

"John Deere partners with the college on their C&F Technology degree program," Park said. "This partnership entails various means of support, including significant monetary donations from the John Deere Foundation, as well as many donations of engines and equipment. We also assisted with building their training facility, which is state-of-the-art."

The John Deere skid steer will be torn down and rebuilt by students to help them learn the inner workings of the machine and how to work on it. Students who participate in the college's C&F Technology program receive a two-year associate's degree and technical expertise in construction equipment, trucks, agricultural equipment, and even lawn and turf equipment. The college recently received accreditation by the Association of Equipment Distributors (AED)—it's now one of only 13 accredited colleges in the country.

Although Wake Technical Community College is a public institution that primarily serves students from the surrounding five-state area, their John Deere-supported C&F Technology program attracts students from all over the world, according to Ron Lowe, department head and instructor for the school's Heavy Equipment and Transport Technology department.

"We have one student coming from Zimbabwe, and another young lady who came from New York," Lowe said. "Our graduates go on to successful careers at heavy equipment dealerships, construction contractors, independent service centers and other businesses that use these types of machines."

Relationships with area John Deere dealers led to the partnership program. Continued support from John Deere enables the college to expand their degree programs and widen the variety of learning experiences for their students, according to Park.

"The program is unique in that it's one of the few manufacturer backed programs in the heavy equipment industry," Park said. "We're proud to have a continuing impact on the industry's future technicians."

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