Holt CAT, the Caterpillar Equipment and Engine dealer for south, central, north and northeast Texas, has pledged $1 million to support the workforce in “trading UP for a better future” with trade-skills and technical training across Texas over the next three years. The commitment will provide select Texas high schools and technical colleges with funding and resources for job skills training in industries looking to hire.
To mark the commitment and celebrate skilled trades training education, host and executive producer of ’Dirty Jobs’ and the new series on CNN called, ’Somebody’s Gotta Do It,’ Mike Rowe joined Grand Prairie ISD Superintendent Dr. Susan Hull and Holt CAT and Caterpillar officials for a pep rally at Dubiski Career High School in Grand Prairie.
In addition to the $1 million commitment to vocational education and training in Texas, Holt CAT presented the Dubiski School of Transportation $10,000 through the CAT Dealership Excellence Fund, which supports classroom guidance materials, equipment purchases and other materials to further technical training and education at the school.
Mike Rowe began working with Caterpillar several years ago around the joint interest of driving skilled workers into the American workforce. The mikeroweWORKS Foundation was created to campaign for hard work and skilled labor and applauds schools like Dubiski Career High School that are geared toward giving students training at the primary level that can help them in their future career paths.
During the pep rally, Rowe fired up the students and encouraged and praised the value of old-fashioned hard work. The students also presented him with a gigantic banner with all 1,500-plus student signatures committing to Rowe’s S.W.E.A.T. Pledge, ’Skilled and Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo.’
Dubiski and Holt CAT first formed the “trading UP” internship program in 2012 to offer junior and senior students world-class mentoring with paid internships to learn about repair and maintenance of heavy equipment, including hydraulics, electronics and diesel engines. Interns graduate from Dubiski with the basic skills to join the workforce as entry-level heavy-equipment technicians.
“Texas depends on skilled trades to get big projects done, and Holt CAT needs skilled techs,” said J.K. Baxter, Holt CAT senior vice president and general manager, machine division. “By partnering with Dubiski Career High School and other Texas schools, Holt is investing in the future of individual students as well as the economic well-being of the state.”
“We are proud of the partnership we have with Holt CAT,” said Hull. “Our students have the opportunity to gain real-world experience while still in high school before transitioning to great jobs after high school.”
Holt’s unique internship program with Dubiski has boosted opportunities for youth interested in a career in the skilled trades by giving them access to industry-leading technical training and real-life on-the-job experience. Ten recent Dubiski graduates are currently full-time Holt CAT technicians and seven current students are completing the internship program with Holt. Since 2012, more than 80 percent of the Dubiski student internship participants have been offered full-time positions with Holt CAT.