Case Construction Equipment 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 in Sheldon.
Roger Solberg, heavy equipment operations and maintenance instructor at NWICC, says 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 says.
Case had been using the machine for training at its Tomahawk Customer Center in Tomahawk, WI. Solberg arranged the donation during a three-day visit earlier this year 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. 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, says 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.
“We have a strong record of placing our graduates with big contractors, dealerships and companies with large truck fleets,” Solberg saysd. “It’s one of the most comprehensive programs available, and we draw students from all over the country, not just Iowa.”
Solberg, himself a graduate of the NICC heavy equipment program, also credited Dean Shaw of Titan Machinery, Sioux City, for nurturing the relationship between NICC and Case. Titan is a Case dealer with locations in seven Midwest and Plains states.
“We’re happy to do whatever we can to help the NICC program,” Shaw says. “Roger and his staff are helping keep the industry on track for the future.”
Wadzinski also commented on the importance of supporting technical training programs such as NICC’s. “It’s important to help develop young mechanics and operators. The graduates of these programs may someday work for Case or our customers,” he says.