Brandon Jueneman and Kevin Turner didn’t know much about the machines they were going to be working on in the CAT® Dealer Prep program at OSU Institute of Technology when they started almost two years ago.
“I really had no experience in it before,” said Turner, who is from Tulsa. “I found the program online.”
Jueneman said his father, who was in the construction business, asked around and found out about OSUIT’s program.
“I had been around construction, but not anything like this,” said Jueneman, who is from Hanover, Kan.
That didn’t stop them from working hard and achieving the highest GPA’s in their class, which earned them each a mikeroweWORKS Foundation Tool Scholarship for $1,000. The scholarships are given to the top two students at AED (Associated Equipment Distributors) accredited colleges or programs.
The mikeroweWORKS Foundation supports and promotes skilled trades and grants scholarships to men and women who have an interest and aptitude in mastering a specific trade.
Terryl Lindsey, dean of the School of Diesel and Heavy Equipment, said both students are meeting and exceeding expectations at school and at the dealerships where they are completing their internships.
“These guys work hard. I can’t ask them to do any more than their best,” Lindsey said.
The scholarship goes toward purchasing their own tools, which each technician must have when they start to work. A basic tool kit can cost OSUIT students around $4,500, which is a discounted price through the school’s tool program, said CAT Dealer Prep instructor Kenneth Trantham.
“It’s a big expense,” Turner said, and every bit helps. “Money is money.”
Both will graduate in August 2016, and despite not having a lot of experience when they started, they said the program has really helped them get ready for their careers.
“This program, you get to go on internships and apply what you’ve learned,” Jueneman said. “I’m looking forward to working full time.”
Turner agrees, but said as a CAT service technician, you never stop learning.
“I like the problem solving aspect and there’s a lot to learn,” he said. “There’s always something new, there’s always something you don’t know.”