When Murray-Calloway County Area Technology Center in Kentucky was looking to add a diesel course to the school’s engine curriculum, Case Construction Equipment and FPT-Fiat Powertrain Technologies delivered. Three months after learning about the school’s need, Case dealer McKeel Equipment engineered the donation of a new Case diesel engine.
Last fall, Murray-Calloway County Area Technology Center Principal Dennis Harper voiced his desire to add diesel engines to his class curriculum in front of the school’s advisory board. The school graduates nearly 85 students per year, with 12 in the field of automotive technology. Harper understands the demand for trained mechanics continues to be strong even in today’s cautious business climate.
Andy McKeel, sales manager of McKeel Equipment — a Case dealer with branches in Murray and Paducah, Ky. — has been on the school’s advisory board for six months. McKeel thought adding diesel training was a great idea since he had discussed the need for qualified diesel technicians with Harper in the past.
“We would most likely be the ones hiring anyone who goes through the course since we are the only diesel repair shop in town, so the addition of the diesel training benefits our business. At the same time, it gives the students broader choices when they graduate,” McKeel said.
After Andy McKeel spoke with Dan McKeel, general manager and president of McKeel Equipment, Dan contacted Case Construction Equipment in Racine, Wis. He was soon introduced to Bill Seidel, the company’s vice president of product marketing. Case is one of the construction industry’s leading manufacturers of excavators, wheel loaders, loader/backhoes, crawler dozers and skid steer loaders.
As a result of the connection, Case/FPT donated a 125-hp (93 kW), fuel-injected, Nef 4-cylinder common rail, fuel-injected diesel engine to disassemble and rebuild in the class.
“It is important for Case to improve the competency of technical students across the country,” Seidel said. “With the cooperation of one of our sister companies, FPT-Fiat Powertrain Technologies, we were able to deliver a new 4.5-liter turbocharged engine.” Case also supports the Associated Equipment Distributors Foundation’s efforts to “grow sustainable sources of high-quality entry-level technicians.” It is the foundation’s goal to graduate 1,200 qualified technicians annually.
“It’s widely known that there’s a shortage of qualified technicians in the construction industry,” explained Seidel. “Case believes that the hands-on experience in troubleshooting and repairing engines will interest students in the construction side of diesel engine repair and maintenance work.”
In addition to the new engine, McKeel Equipment also donated older Case diesel engines so students are exposed to different types of equipment. From this, McKeel hopes the school attracts additional students interested in careers as diesel engine mechanics.
Harper indicated that roughly 25 percent of his students enter an agriculture or construction career as equipment operators or mechanics. He believes the equipment donation may help boost those numbers.
“Our school gives these teens an advantage over students who have never worked with an engine before as they move on with their education at the state schools,” Harper said. “Hands-on experience with diesel engines will open their eyes and spark their interest. We are anxious to get the new engine running.”
In addition, McKeel Equipment executives offered to participate in classroom programs and bring their professional staff of mechanics to the school. Likewise, Harper said he’s making the engine available for the staff and new employees at McKeel for training.
Harper also noted that a Murray-Calloway Country Area Technology Center student currently works for McKeel as part of a newly started co-op program. “Our co-op student is coming in half days throughout the semester, and he may continue working with us through the summer,” Dan McKeel said. “That seems to be working out pretty well.”
For additional information on Case, call 1-866-54CASE6 or visit www.casece.com.
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