Focus on the Foundation
The Power of 10
A new 10-year partnership with CASE IH and Service Motor Company will provide FVTC students with an impressive array of state-of-the-art equipment.
When CASE IH and Service Motor Company (SMC) signed a partnership agreement with Fox Valley Technical College in February, it far exceeded anything college officials could have anticipated. Under the 10-year agreement, CASE IH and SMC will provide the college with an impressive array of state-of-the-art equipment for use in training students. CASE IH is a Racine-based supplier of agricultural equipment, and SMC is a dealer for that equipment with six locations throughout Wisconsin, including one in nearby Dale.
“When CASE IH decided to support some of the training going on in colleges throughout Wisconsin, they looked at Fox Valley Technical College and were excited about what we were doing,” says Alyce Dumke, executive director of the FVTC Foundation, Inc. and Community Relations. “This partnership took our breath away; we had no idea that it would be so extensive.”
Through the partnership, FVTC is receiving such equipment as tractors, planters, combines, tillage implements, mowers, skid steers, and utility vehicles. All are being used by students in the college’s Agriculture, Natural Resources, Horticulture, and Outdoor Power Equipment programs. Grounds-keeping employees will also benefit from the generosity of CASE IH and SMC by having access to high-tech snow removal equipment.
“It’s difficult today for universities and colleges to expose their students to state-of-the-art technologies,” says Pattie Lardie, manager of government sales for CASE IH North America. “We feel strongly that students in Wisconsin should be able to experience the most up-to-date equipment, and to understand its impact.”
The equipment that FVTC will receive each year carries a combined price tag of over $1 million. “It’s a 10-year partnership,” says Dumke. “It’s incredible because the experiential learning our students engage in allows them to hit the ground running. We need these kinds of training tools.”
Loyalty Runs Deep
The partnership also provides FVTC instructors and students access to SMC employees. Along with CASE IH product specialists, SMC staff provides hands-on training and assistance in field demonstrations. “It’s going very well,” says Kevin Sommer, a Service Motor Company vice president and current FVTC student. “Service Motor Company has been working with the college for 35 or 40 years, lending equipment for students to set up and repair, and helping provide training. Through this new partnership, we are supplying Fox Valley Technical College with brand-new equipment right off the assembly line.”
“I’ve heard nothing but positive feedback from our students,” says Mike Cattelino, associate dean of FVTC’s Manufacturing, Information, and Agriculture Technologies division. “They have an opportunity to operate this equipment to its fullest extent. Potential buyers also can come here to see what we’re using.”
Lardie is more than a little impressed with FVTC. “The folks at Fox Valley Technical College are phenomenal,” she says. “They have really engaged with us. In fact, when we drove the combine to the school, they arranged for a police escort. It was awesome.”
Partnerships like this provide tools and training to meet the ever-changing needs of today’s workforce. “We are always seeking partnerships that can support our students and our programs,” says Dumke. “The reputation, passion, and dedication of our faculty made this happen, and the students are thrilled about the opportunity.”