Caterpillar Dealers host Graduation Dinner for CAT Students

May 10, 2017
Shown above with SGTC President Dr. John Watford are the Caterpillar dealer representatives from five states which hosted the dinner for the 2017 Caterpillar graduates
CATERPILLAR DEALERS HOST DINNER – Shown above with SGTC President Dr. John Watford are the Caterpillar dealer representatives from five states which hosted the dinner for the 2017 Caterpillar graduates which earned the Associated of Applied Science degree in Heavy Equipment Dealers Service Technology. Shown (l to r) are SGTC Vice President for Academic Affairs David Kuipers, SGTC Academic Dean Raymond Holt, Jessica Winters and Ashley Self of Thompson Tractor, Duane Gabehart of Stowers, Phillip Welch of Thompson Machinery, Jim Larson of Yancey, SGTC President Dr. John Watford, Chip Handley of Ring Power, Chris Rowan of Thompson Machinery, Jeff Cornwell of Yancey and SGTC CAT Instructors Kyle Hartsfield and Luke Martin.

Americus, GA – Caterpillar dealers from Georgia, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, and Tennessee hosted a dinner for the South Georgia Technical College graduates receiving an Associate of Applied Technology Degree in Heavy Equipment Dealers Service Technology prior to the college’s 2017 Spring Commencement Ceremony recently.

The dinner was held in the Betty Deriso Pope Teleconference room in the John M. Pope Industrial Technology Center on the South Georgia Technical College campus.

SGTC President Dr. John Watford and Raymond Holt, Academic Dean at South Georgia Technical College welcomed the Caterpillar dealers, graduates, and their families to South Georgia Technical College.

This was the 16th CAT graduating class since the program began at South Georgia Technical College.

South Georgia Technical College serves as the Southeastern Caterpillar Dealers College of Technology and offers extensive technician training for Caterpillar Dealers as part of the specialized Caterpillar Dealer Service Technician Program. Students selected for the two-year program receive practical work experience from their sponsoring dealership during paid internships.

The Caterpillar program, which has the theme, “Think Big About Your Future,” features alternating sessions in eight-week increments of classroom instruction and “hands on” experiences for students at participating dealerships. Upon graduation from the program, the student receives an Associate Degree in Applied Science and a job can be offered at his/her sponsoring dealership.

A total of 19 students received their Associate of Applied Science Degrees in the Heavy Equipment Dealers Service Technology program at 2017 South Georgia Technical College graduation ceremony.

The students who earned their Associate Degree in Heavy Equipment Dealers Service Technology included: Jacob Charles Ansley of French Camp, MS, Wade R. Chesney of Madison, MS, Alexander Manuel Eason of Goodwater, AL, Christian B. Edwards of Haleyville, AL, John Garrett Evans of Lexington, SC, Dustin Gage Greene of Griffin, Heath Helton of Maynardville, TN, Daniel Horton of Columbiana, AL, Timothy Mason Hudgins of Dixons Mills, AL, Troy Levi Jandura of Tybee Island, GA, Benjamin J. Looker of Arlington, TN, Owen Michehl of Sugartree, TN, Cody M. More of Telford, TN, Nicholas Overstreet, Vancleave, MS, Jesse G. Overton, Haleyville, AL; Austin Railsback, Umatilla, FL, Jacob C. Seal, Sneedville, GA, Alan Fergus Stewart, III of Dawson, and Jacob Benjamin Thompson of Buchanan.

CAT machines today come with electronically controlled engines, satellite-based navigation systems, sophisticated computer-based diagnostics, and state of the art hydraulics. To work on these machines, service technicians must be highly trained in computers, electronics, hydraulics and more.

Students applying for this program must be accepted by South Georgia Technical College or another cooperating college, meet specific dealership requirements that include placement tests and completion of a portfolio before final acceptance.

The Caterpillar dealers who support the Think Big About Your Future program at South Georgia Technical College include: Ring Power Corporation of St. Augustine, FL; Thompson Machinery of LaVergne, TN; Thompson Tractor of Birmingham, AL; Yancey Brothers Company of Austell, GA; Stowers Machinery of Knoxville, TN; and Puckett Machinery Company of Flowood, Mississippi.

Approximately 150 Caterpillar and South Georgia Technical College officials, CAT students and their families attended the special dinner. Following the dinner, graduates and their families and Caterpillar officials attended the college commencement ceremony.

For more information on how to enroll in the Caterpillar Think Big Program, contact Raymond Holt at SGTC at 229-931-2809 or your local Caterpillar Dealers or go online at or Rick Davis, Kyle Hartsfield and Luke Martin are the Heavy Equipment Technology Instructors for South Georgia Technical College.