Caterpillar Dealers host graduation dinner for 2022 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 2022 Spring Commencement Ceremony.
Approximately 225 Caterpillar officials, students, family members and SGTC officials attended the event. 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, and Heavy Equipment Dealer’s Technology Instructors Kyle Hartsfield and 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 Peyton Norris, a Thompson Tractor CAT Heavy Equipment Dealer Service Technology student with the Adrian “Goose” Johnson tool scholarship. Adrian “Goose” Johnson was a Thompson Tractor CAT student who passed away prior to graduation in an automobile accident in 2019. Kelly and Amber Johnson and their daughter Sarah as well as Thompson Tractor and family and friends of Adrian Johnson endowed a tool scholarship in his memory for Thompson Tractor students.
This was the 20th CAT Heavy Equipment Dealer’s Service Technology graduating class since the program began at South Georgia Technical College and the fifth 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 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 19 students received their Associate of Applied Science Degrees in the Heavy Equipment Dealers Service Technology program or the SGTC Electrical Power Generation Heavy Equipment Dealer Service Technology program at 2022 South Georgia Technical College graduation ceremony.
The students who earned their Associate Degree in Heavy Equipment Dealers Service Technology included: Jacob Randall Atkins of Luttrell, TN, Eli James Bagby of Cohutta, James Edward Bozman of Saint Augustine, FL, Michael Gene Clendenin of Monticello, Blake W. Ford of Ripley, TN, Jaysen Jewell of Albany, Alex Clayton Laird of Brooksville, FL, Ciaden Lee Miller of Blountville, TN, Peyton Alexander Norris of Sylvan Springs, AL, Parker Thomas Rasnic of Thorn Hill, TN, Benjamin Garrett Shows of Mount Olive, MS, Maverick Allen Smith of Zebulon, Kaleb Dalton Spruille of Fayetteville, Mason Underkoffler of Titusville, FL, John-Keith Verble of Jonesborough, TN, Simon David Westra of Dover, FL, and Samuel R. Wilhot of Cleveland, TN
The two students who were graduates from the SGTC Electrical Power Generation Heavy Equipment Dealer Service Technology program were: Thomas Andrew French of Maryville, TN, and Gabriel Lagos of Lawrenceville,
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 225 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 a local Caterpillar Dealer or go online at www.CAT.com/thinkbig or www.southgatech.edu. Kyle Hartsfield, email@example.com, Donald Rountree, firstname.lastname@example.org, and Keith McCorkle, email@example.com, are the Heavy Equipment Technology Instructors for South Georgia Technical College.