Caterpillar Dealers host graduation dinner for 2019 CAT graduates
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 and Electric Power Generation Heavy Equipment Dealers Service Technology prior to the college’s 2019 Spring Commencement Ceremony.
Approximately 250 Caterpillar officials, students, family members and SGTC officials attended the event, which was the largest ever. 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, Vice President of Academic Affairs David Kuipers, Academic Dean Raymond Holt at South Georgia Technical College and Heavy Equipment Dealer’s Technology Instructor Donald Rountree welcomed the Caterpillar dealers, graduates, and their families to South Georgia Technical College.
Dr. Watford and South Georgia Technical College Vice President of Institutional Advancement and SGTC Foundation Executive Director Su Ann Bird recognized the family of Adrian “Goose” Johnson, a Thompson Tractor CAT student who passed away prior to graduation in an automobile accident. Kelly and Amber Johnson and their daughter Sarah, were presented with a framed certificate for endowing a scholarship for Thompson Tractor students in memory of their son.
The Johnson’s and the SGTC Foundation also presented seven members of the Thompson Tractor group that was in their son’s co-hort with tool scholarships in memory of Adrian “Goose” Johnson. Amber Johnson also provided each of the seven students with a magnetic goose to put on their tool boxes in memory of her son.
The seven students were: Logan Crutchfield, Justin Greenhaw of Danville, AL; Cole Holland of Axis, AL; Benjamin Thomas Selman of Montgomery, AL; Noah Schrum of Jasper, AL; Tyler L. Singletary of Graceville, FL; and Ethan Wendell of Thorsby, AL.
This was the 18th CAT Heavy Equipment Dealer’s Service Technology graduating class since the program began at South Georgia Technical College and the second graduating class of the CAT Electric Power Generation Heavy Equipment Dealer’s Service Technology program. 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.
The new CAT Electric Power Generation Heavy Equipment Dealer’s Service Technology program mirrors that curriculum for the heavy equipment program for the first year and then advances into the Electric Power Generation curriculum during the second year. The students also alternate between eight-week sessions of classroom instruction and “hands-on” experiences at participating dealerships. These students also earn an Associate Degree in Applied Science and the opportunity for a job at his/her sponsoring dealership.
A total of 20 students received their Associate of Applied Science Degrees in the Heavy Equipment Dealers Service Technology program at 2019 South Georgia Technical College graduation ceremony.
The students who earned their Associate Degree in Heavy Equipment Dealers Service Technology included: Hunter Lee Baxley of Tallahassee, FL; Brady Cleveland Bennett of Molena; Clayton Buie of Melrose, FL; Austin Jeffery Coon, Tupelo, MS; Justin Corbin of Taft, TN; Dalton Craft of Leesburg, Chasen Luke Edge of Monticello, Noah Foster, Mount Pleasant, TN; Jonah Lanehart of Cataula; Logan Richard McCreary of Evergreen, AL; Jesse Ray Morris, Luna, MS; Kelton William Rogers of St. Augustine, FL; Noah Schrum of Jasper, AL; Tyler L. Singletary of Graceville, FL; Jordan Daniel Smith of Calhoun; Chandler Adam Soucey of Silver Springs, FL; Cody Wayne Sparks of Monticello, Garrett Wade Taylor of Lakeland, FL; Austin Michael Thornton of Carthage, MS; and Ethan Grant Wendell of Thorsby, AL.
The five students who were graduates from the SGTC Electrical Power Generation Heavy Equipment Dealer Service Technology program included: Justin Kyle Greenhaw of Danville, AL; Johnathon Cole Holland of Axis, AL; Lee Lydon Perkins, III, of Valrico, FL; Cory Lee Rix of Andersonville, and Benjamin Thomas Selman of Montgomery, AL.
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.
Nearly 250 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 or the Electric Power Generation program, contact Raymond Holt at SGTC at 229-931-2809 or firstname.lastname@example.org or your local Caterpillar Dealers or go online at www.CAT.com/thinkbig or www.southgatech.edu. Donald Rountree, email@example.com, and Keith McCorkle, firstname.lastname@example.org, are the Heavy Equipment Technology Instructors for South Georgia Technical College.