Since 2003, RDO Equipment Co.’s Access Your Future (AYF) program has been giving college students and new graduates the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the equipment industry. The program originally focused on those seeking careers in diesel service and has since grown to include sales and parts programs.
The experience provided through the AYF program helps to reduce learning curves for industry-specific tasks and increase skillsets for interns and new employees, allowing them to make greater contributions, faster.
Sales, parts, and service managers tout the benefits of the AYF program, noting the professional growth of participants and the positive impact it has on stores and service departments.
Recently, Josh Gillen, Service Operations Manager at RDO Equipment Co. – Fort Worth, highlighted the success of AYF Service Intern Ben Goodhue. Ben has been enrolled in AYF since May 2018, attending classes at Texas State Technical College (TSTC) Mondays through Thursdays and working a full day in the Fort Worth service department on Fridays.
“Ben has done a great job of learning and picking things up, and he continues to improve every day he’s here,” Josh says.
A recent project involved Ben dismantling the rear half of an 844K wheel loader to replace a damaged frame support—a task not typically suitable for newer employees, let alone interns.
“This is something that would normally take a full-time employee a year or more of experience to be able to take on,” Josh says. “But because of the Deere program at TSTC and Ben’s aptitude, he’s able to handle a task like this much sooner in his career.”
The chance to gain exposure to real-world challenges gives AYF program participants a head-start on their careers. The experience proves valuable to participants, as well as employers focused on regularly providing elite customer service in today’s ultra-competitive industry.
“We’ve had many AYF participants in Fort Worth over the years, and Ben is a great example of the benefits the program has,” says Matt Daniell, Fort Worth General Manager. “It’s always great to see these students grow into technicians and finish the program ready to go to work.”
Visit the AYF page on our website to learn more about the program and explore current opportunities.