This week, OSU Institute of Technology and Komatsu America Corp., are celebrating the anniversary of a partnership that began two decades ago in the School of Diesel & Heavy Equipment.
The first graduates of the Komatsu Advanced Career Training (ACT) program walked across the graduation stage at OSUIT 20 years ago. To commemorate the anniversary, Mike Hayes, director of distributor development for Komatsu America Corp., will deliver the keynote address at the university’s two commencement ceremonies, Friday, Aug. 25.
A graduation dinner for the newest Komatsu graduates as well as faculty and Komatsu dealer principals is planned that same day at 5 p.m. in the PSO Lounge of the Student Union.
“Komatsu started the Komatsu ACT program to assist distributors with the training needs of the new and upcoming technicians,” Hayes said. “OSUIT was able to offer theory in the classroom and practical learning in the lab, under a controlled environment.
“After eight weeks at school, the student returned to the dealership where he or she would also participate in repairs to fortify classroom learning. This has been very successful, and today several companies have partnership programs with OSUIT like the one Komatsu started 20 years ago.”
Terryl Lindsey is dean of the School of Diesel & Heavy Equipment and knows the impact that the partnership with Komatsu has made on students during those two decades.
“There have been over 100 lives changed because of this education, some of whom would not have been able to go to college otherwise,” Lindsey said.
The 20-year relationship between Komatsu and the university not only benefits students in the program, but the company as well.
“The partnership between OSUIT and Komatsu has been extremely fruitful. Komatsu America Corp., has been and will be committed to the continued growth of the program,” Lindsey said. “We have been blessed with the latest technology Komatsu has to offer. This not only benefits the students, but also benefits the School of Diesel & Heavy Equipment and the Komatsu dealer network.”
Hayes said technicians who graduate from the Komatsu ACT program have the potential to earn up to six figures with the skills they learn in the classroom.
“We have seen where some of the graduates from earlier years are now working within management levels at the dealership and within the original equipment manufacturer fields,” he said. “Komatsu America Corp. and their dealer network value the attributes of diesel technicians, especially if they have gone through OSUIT’s program.”