Skip to Main Content

Search NewsCenter

Top Stories

Focus on the Foundation: Ariens

Focus on the Foundation: Ariens

Spring 2012

Investing in Innovation

Ariens keeps FVTC’s Outdoor Power Equipment program on the cutting edge.

In 2005, Fox Valley Technical College launched its Outdoor Power Equipment (OPE) program with industry leaders who were concerned about the need for qualified technicians. Their donations of equipment and training materials have helped the program gain national recognition.

Established in 1933 in Brillion, Wisconsin, Ariens Company is a leading manufacturer of outdoor power equipment for both consumer and commercial use. Ariens was one of FVTC’s initial founding partners of the OPE program, and recently the company made yet another important contribution. “They delivered six of their new state-of-the-art electric riding lawn mowers late last year,” says OPE instructor Dale Drees. “These are the very latest in green technology.”

“Every time we receive equipment like this, it saves the taxpayers money,” Drees states. “We don’t have to purchase these training tools for our students. We can save money for other student learning experiences.”

“Our relationship with Fox Valley Technical College goes back years,” states Fred Moreaux, director of Product Conformance-Warranty-Training for Ariens. “I’ve been part of the program’s advisory committee since its inception.” Throughout this relationship, the company has made substantial donations including snow equipment, conventional gas mowers and commercial equipment, training materials, and component parts such as transmissions.

“We believe it is important to enable Fox Valley Technical College to put actual working products into the hands of its students,” says Moreaux. “It helps ensure that technicians will know how to work with the latest equipment.”

That equipment is far more sophisticated and powerful, plus newer emission standards require cleaner engine performance. “Today’s equipment requires fully qualified technicians,” notes Drees. “That’s why industry support of technical education is so important. Without it, many schools could simply not afford to run effective programs.”

Since 2005, more than 175 technicians have completed the OPE program. “You’ll find our grads working almost everywhere,” states Drees. “Some work for our manufacturing partners in their plants and dealerships. Others, who came to us as older learners due to job loss, have started their own companies!”

In addition, the program also serves many non-professionals through community courses. “We offer the full gamut of courses in our evening program and work with everyone,” states Drees. “Some are homeowners who want to learn simple things like sharpening a mower blade. Others want to handle complete maintenance and repair projects.”

Today, all of the OPE program’s original supporters, which include Briggs & Stratton, Stihl, Snap-On Tools, and Ariens, continue their support. Other companies have climbed onboard too. “What we don’t use, we pass on to high schools,” says Drees.

Another Tech Education Champ

Recently, Kohler Company, a global leader in the manufacturing of kitchen and bath products, engines, and power generation systems, donated more than 3,600 Courage XT-7 small engines to Fox Valley Technical College’s Outdoor Power Equipment (OPE) program.

“Kohler looked to us to help distribute these engines because of our reputation and relationships with high schools,” notes Dale Drees, instructor in FVTC’s OPE program. “This is an incredible demonstration of support for technical education at all levels. Education is facing unprecedented budget cuts, so Kohler’s donation is very timely as well.”

The fair market value of Kohler’s overall donation is more than $543,000. To date, FVTC has donated these engines to 115 school districts in its service community and throughout Wisconsin.

“Hundreds of students can now gain real-life experiences in small engine theory,” says Kevin Otradovec, technology education instructor at Stockbridge High School. “The generous support of Kohler Company and Fox Valley Technical College provides the tools for meaningful, high quality education.”

FVTC President's Blog


New This Week

Student & Alumni Spotlight

Fab Lab Club Helps Display Donors

Fab Lab Club Helps Display Donors

Jun 29, 2016

Students from Fox Valley Technical College’s Fab Lab Club designed and built a donor wall ...

Student-Built House Ready for Residents

Student-Built House Ready for Residents

Jun 24, 2016

Annual residential site build gives home construction students the opportunity to practice ...

Celebrating Scholars for Success

Celebrating Scholars for Success

Jun 16, 2016

The Multicultural Student Services team at Fox Valley Technical College helped guide students ...

Featured Photos

Featured Videos

Spring 2016 Focus Magazine

Read the latest issue of Focus magazine, with features highlighting students and alumni in Engineering, Accounting, Banking & Finance and much more.

Upcoming Events

26 Sep 2016

Dell Technical Group On Campus Recruitment

11 a.m. - 1 p.m. | Appleton Campus Commons

Dell Technical Group On Campus Recruitment

Dell Technical Group will be on campus | Monday, Sept. 26

27 Sep 2016

Hands-On, High-Tech: Careers in Woodworking

September 27-28 | S.J. Spanbauer Center

 Hands-On, High-Tech: Careers in Woodworking

For high school groups who want to experience a different type of learning environment. This event focuses on hands-on career training in wood manufacturing and residential building construction. This event is for high school students (grades 9-12) only.

27 Sep 2016

Leadership Seminar: Michael Miller

9 a.m.-4 p.m. | Appleton Campus

Leadership Seminar: Michael Miller

Tuesday, Sept. 27, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Appleton | Learn about the challenges leaders and professionals face and how to handle them

Calendar

«September 2016»
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
28293031123
4567
9/7/2016 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
55834

Fire Service Suicide Prevention Training of Trainers

For Fire Service Trainers | Wednesday, September 7, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., FVTC Public Safety Training Center

Read more
8
9/8/2016 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
53851

On Campus: Lakeland College

Thinking of transferring to Lakeland College?
Read more
910
9/10/2016 6:00 PM - 11:00 PM
17853

Drive-In Movie

Featuring: Finding Dory and X-men: Apocalypse

Read more
111214
9/14/2016 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
53853

On Campus: UW Oshkosh

Thinking of transferring to UW Oshkosh?

Read more
15
1617
1819
9/19/2016 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
54403

FVTC Promise Info Session - Oshkosh

Oshkosh Riverside Campus, Sept. 19, 6:30-7:30 p.m. | We're pleased to announce the FVTC Promise Scholarship, a program designed to bring a college education within the reach of those who could not otherwise afford it. Learn more at this public information session.

Read more
22
9/22/2016 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
53859

On Campus: Herzing University

Thinking of transferring to Herzing University?

Read more
2324
252829
30
9/30/2016 9:00 AM - 2:30 PM
46610

Manufacturing Career Expo

Manufacturing Career Expo, in partnership with Miller Electric Mfg. Co. | Friday, September 30

Read more
1
234
5678

Get Social

Connect With Us banner

FVTC eConnect Newsletter Sign-up








CAPTCHA image
Enter the code shown above: