Whether you’re an accountant, office administrator, or service technician, imagine what it would have been like to work in that job role while you were still attending college. The hands-on experience would have no doubt given you an edge, both in the classroom and as you entered your first job. That’s exactly what RDO Equipment Co.’s Access Your Future (AYF) program is meant to do. For Dakota County Technical College (DCTC) in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, partnering with the AYF program has been proven to do just that.
For more than 20 years, DCTC has been a partner of RDO Equipment Co. in the AYF program. The AYF program offers DCTC students a mentored, paid work experience while attending school, and additional financial incentives upon full-time hire after the successful completion of an accredited diesel technology program. According to Jeff Kockelman, Aftermarket Manager of the RDO Equipment Co. Burnsville Vermeer store, it’s a unique experience that benefits students in numerous ways.
“The hands-on experience helps them grow their knowledge faster, first in the classroom and as they continue with their training,” he said. “When they graduate, they have a better idea of what to expect from a company, from its culture and processes to what it’s really like to work in a shop setting.”
The enhanced knowledge and work experience is an asset as students look for jobs, and most are offered full-time career opportunities with RDO Equipment Co. when they graduate. In fact, there are currently 19 former DCTC students, also former AYF interns, who are now employed by RDO Equipment Co.’s Burnsville locations alone. And once students move into their career with RDO Equipment Co., the learning doesn’t end.
“RDO Equipment Co. puts a great deal of focus on continuous improvement,” Andrew Polley, Service Manager at the Burnsville Construction store, explains. “All team members have opportunities for ongoing learning and development. We’ve found service technicians are eager to stay up-to-date and keep growing their knowledge so it’s a win-win for everyone.”
The combination of the AYF program and DCTC’s curriculum is designed to put students in the best position to be successful in their careers as service technicians. The Heavy Construction Equipment Maintenance program at DCTC prepares students to succeed as well-trained, mechanically minded, hard-working technicians with heavy equipment dealers and contractors. Instruction involves classroom theory, live shop demonstrations, and repair of heavy equipment currently used in the industry.
Interested in joining the Access Your Future Program or RDO Equipment Co. team in your area? Learn more about the Access Your Future program, or find out about career opportunities, see open positions, and find out how to apply.