A Partnership for Equipment Excellence
Imagine an opportunity to work in a service shop while you were attending school. The hands-on experience would have no doubt given you an edge, both in the classroom and as you entered your first job. That’s exactly what the partnership between Dakota County Technical College and RDO Equipment Co. is meant to do.
For more than 20 years, DCTC in Rosemount, Minnesota has been a partner of RDO Equipment Co., a network of heavy equipment stores, in its Access Your Future (AYF) internship program. The AYF program offers DCTC students a mentored, paid work experience while attending school, and additional financial incentives upon full-time hire after the successful completion of an accredited diesel technology program. According to Jeff Kockelman, Aftermarket Manager of RDO Equipment Co.’s Burnsville Vermeer store, it’s a unique experience that benefits students in numerous ways.
“The hands-on experience helps them grow their knowledge faster, first in the classroom and as they continue with their training. When they graduate, they have a better idea of what to expect from a company, from its culture and processes, to what it’s really like to work in a shop setting.”
The enhanced knowledge and work experience is an asset as students look for jobs, and most are offered full-time career opportunities with RDO Equipment Co. when they graduate. In fact, there are currently 19 former DCTC students, former AYF interns, who are now employed by RDO Equipment Co.’s Burnsville locations alone. And once students move into their career with RDO Equipment Co., the learning doesn’t end.
DCTC graduates employed at RDO from left to right: Allen Charnstrom, Dan Guertin, Andrew Charnstrom, Jon Gulbrandsen, James Kamp, Mike Cross, Patrick Fritzinger, and Josh Little
“RDO Equipment Co. puts a great deal of focus on continuous improvement,” Andrew Polley, Service Manager at RDO Equipment Co.’s Burnsville Construction store, explains. “Team members have opportunities for ongoing learning and development. We’ve found service technicians are eager to stay up-to-date and keep growing their knowledge so it’s a win-win for everyone.”
The combination of the AYF program and DCTC’s curriculum is designed to put students in the best position to be successful in their careers as service technicians. The Heavy Construction Equipment Maintenance program at DCTC prepares students to succeed as well-trained, mechanically minded, hard-working technicians with heavy equipment dealers and contractors. Instruction involves classroom theory, live shop demonstrations, and repair of heavy equipment currently used in industry. Making repairs on actual equipment is vital to skill development.
RDO Equipment Co. is currently seeking team members to join its Construction and Vermeer stores in Burnsville. For further information on these positions or to apply, visit the Careers page of the RDO Equipment Co. website.