The next generation of contractors needs those pivotal educational experiences to build excitement for the construction industry. A fond memory of working on a skid steer might be an experience that inspires a young mind to become a professional contractor. That’s at least what Case Construction Equipment thought when it recently donated a cutaway training model of a Case skid steer loader to the Heavy Equipment Operation and Maintenance program at Northwest Iowa Community College (NWICC) in Sheldon, Iowa. Roger Solberg, Heavy Equipment Operations and Maintenance instructor at NWICC, said the program’s 25 students will begin using the machine during the upcoming semester’s studies, including breaking down, re-assembling and re-installing the engine.
“We’ll have a new shop next year, and we’re setting up a special area just for the Case machine,” Solberg said. Case had been using the machine for training at its Tomahawk Customer Center in Tomahawk, Wis. Solberg arranged the donation during a three-day visit in 2011 with his students to the Tomahawk facility.
“We appreciate the support Case provides to our program. We’re especially grateful to Russ Wadzinski, the general manager at Tomahawk, who offered us the skid steer cutaway,” Solberg said. “Russ and his team gave us good advice and ideas to incorporate into our facilities and classes. Case provides a great example to our students of how the industry can help prepare the next generation of equipment operators and mechanics.”
The Case skid steer is the latest addition to the 30-piece equipment fleet used in the NWICC heavy equipment program. Solberg, who has directed the program for 12 years, said students learn to operate and maintain construction, agricultural and on-highway equipment, and each graduate of the 18-month program also passes the commercial driver’s license test.