Caterpillar Dealers from the Southeast serve on SGTC Advisory Committee

Published 5:06 pm Monday, October 18, 2021

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By Su Ann Bird

Americus – South Georgia Technical College President Dr. John Watford met with representatives from six Caterpillar Dealers from across the Southeastern United States, during the “ThinkBIG” Heavy Equipment Dealers Service Technology Advisory Committee meeting at South Georgia Technical College recently.  The group held the meeting in the Heavy Equipment Dealer’s Service Technology building designed for the purpose of conducting training opportunities benefiting the Caterpillar dealers.

The purpose of the conglomerate meeting was to discuss student learning outcomes, admission requirements, competency tests and instructional materials, industry specific equipment, program purpose and goals, program of work, donations, AED accreditation, and additional items as well as financial and equipment loans. Chairman Chip Handley, Ring Power Corporation Heavy Equipment Training Manager Vice President, presided over the meeting.

The Heavy Equipment Dealer’s Service Technology Program is a unique program in which students are sponsored by a participating dealer to attend SGTC in eight-week increments of college training and on the job training.  Upon graduation, students receive an Associate of Technology Degree and are eligible to obtain full employment with their sponsoring Caterpillar dealer.

Dealers participating in the meeting included: Brad Manis, Stowers Machinery of Knoxville, Tennessee; Jeff Cornwell and Jacob Pope, Yancey Brothers of Austell, GA; Matt Bass and McKenzie Baine of Ring Power in St. Augustine, FL; Chris Ellsworth of Thompson Tractor in Birmingham, AL, Duane Crooker of Blanchard Machinery in Columbia, SC, and Kevin Upton and Tony Tick of Thompson Machinery Corp in LaVergne, TN.  Puckett Machinery representatives from Flowood, MS were unable to attend.

South Georgia Technical College staff present included:  SGTC President Dr. John Watford; SGTC Vice President of Academic Affairs David Kuipers, SGTC Vice President of Institutional Advancement and SGTC Foundation Executive Director Su Ann Bird, Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs Vanessa Wall; and SGTC Heavy Equipment Dealer Service Technology instructors Kyle Hartsfield and Don Rountree.