The Western Equipment Dealers Association continues to support OSU Institute of Technology’s Western Equipment Dealers Association Training Program with an annual donation to help the program grow and excel.
This year, the members of the WEDA Foundation and the program’s advisory board members presented the program with a $16,000 check. The funds are raised every year at the foundation’s annual golf tournament in Kansas City.
The Western Equipment Dealers Association is a member-organization composed of industrial and farm equipment dealers from five states in the U.S. and four provinces in Canada. The program started more than a decade ago when the members of the association came to the university with the need for more skilled technicians at their dealerships.
“The OSUIT program is one of our most cherished programs,” said Tag Webb, WEDA regional manager for Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico. “Technician training is and will continue to be at the top of the needs list for all our members. As a result, we will gladly continue to support this program.”
David Martin, instructor in the WEDA program, said the annual donation allows the program to have the latest training aids and tools available, which in turn allows instructors to give the best education to the students.
“The importance of donations such as this is immeasurable,” Martin said. “As an instructor, this money makes the difference between an average education and a great education with the best tools available for training.”
Terryl Lindsey, dean of the School of Diesel & Heavy Equipment, said the donation is crucial toward the operation of the WEDA program because it ensures the education and skills the students receive are what the industry expects.
“The dealers and the advisory board members are the driving force behind the WEDA program. This monetary commitment from WEDA proves the loyalty they have for OSUIT and its program,” Lindsey said. “The students see their employers giving of their time and money. This plants the seed of future involvement with their alma mater as advisory board members or alumni association members.”
That relationship between the Western Equipment Dealers Association and its members, and the WEDA program and its students is one that is unique in higher education, Martin said.
“The support of the association only reinforces to the dealers that the association is there for them. For the students, they see this support which lets them know they are at the right place for their education,” he said. “Very few places have the support from the manufacturers like we have, and no one has the added support of the Western Equipment Dealers Association and their dealers like we do. That is the key to our ability to give students a great education that will follow them the rest of their lives.”