The public opening of the new John Deere Tech Program at Fort Scott Community College was held at the site Feb. 9.
A hamburger lunch was provided by the college.
Attending were prospective students, local residents, business corporations, FSCC staff and Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce members.
Following the lunch were speeches and a ribbon cutting sponsored by the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce.
Tours were given prior to the event for those interested.
A building north of the new John Deere Tech Program building was renovated for welding classes instruction. The program began in August, with Brandon McAdam, as the instructor.
The John Deere corporation supplies new and used tractors for training the students, said Dale Griffiths, tech program instructor.
Additional old tractors are supplied by dealers and individuals, he said.
Currently, there are 23 students in the program, mostly from Kansas and Missouri, Griffiths said.
“Ninety-five percent of the students will have a job waiting for them,” Griffiths said. “Technicians are the most demanded field in the ag. equipment business.”
Classes are in session from Monday through Thursday, Griffiths said.
“Most kids will travel back to work at their dealers,” he said.
In this program, students are required to work through a qualified dealership that provides paid internships throughout the program’s two years, according to information provided by FSCC.
After completing the program, students receive an associate of applied science degree and can transfer to Pittsburg State University to complete a four-year management option.
Many students choose to stay with their sponsoring dealerships to begin their career as a technician.
Federal loan and grant programs are available to students who qualify. For more information contact the financial aid office at 620-223-2700 or visit fortscott.edu.