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PCC IN THE NEWS: Caterpillar trumpets PCC partnership
Photos and Story by James Hill
In a Caterpillar dealer newsletter, “The Communicator,” the partnership between the company and PCC was highlighted in its most recent issue (“A solution to the technician shortage” by Mary Sedor). The program is called ThinkBIG and PCC joins five dealers across the Northwest to help train future Caterpillar technicians and fill the industry labor shortage.
“Portland Community College and Caterpillar dealers in the Northwest are forming a partnership to train the next generation of Caterpillar’s technicians,” said Dennis Massingham, employment coordinator for Western States Equipment.
Caterpillar dealers intend to recruit 24 qualified applicants for the Caterpillar Dealer Service Technician Program (ThinkBIG), starting in September. The classes will provide students with a well-rounded knowledge of Caterpillar equipment and their high-tech systems. The program develops graduates, who have their coursework and books paid for by ThinkBIG, for positions as Caterpillar dealer service technicians.
“ThinkBIG was created as a corporate reply to a very serious technician shortage,” said Steve Hitch, dealer manpower development manager for Caterpillar. “Today more than 44 dealers are working with 15 colleges in five countries.”
On June 29, the newspaper reported on a new partnership involving PCC to develop the Native American Youth and Family Center (“Native Americans move into new home” by Stephen Beaven). The future high school, which will include a curriculum featuring math, science and Native American culture, will be developed with the help of Portland Public Schools, PCC and Antioch University Seattle, which administers the Early College High School for Native Youth Initiative. A grant from that program of $350,000 will help cover startup.
On June 29, the college’s partnership with Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District was spotlighted (“Tualatin Hills to start big project at PCC Rock Creek Campus” by Michelle Mandel). The $10.1 million recreation complex of athletic fields is scheduled to open in July 2007.