ECC offers first-of-its-kind Mobile Service Technician program
click image to zoomThis Titan Machinery mobile service truck is like those that will be used for training students in Ellsworth Community College’s new Mobile Service Technician program. The truck includes a crane that can lift up to 7,000 pounds, as well as all the tools and equipment needed to service virtually any agricultural machinery that needs to be diagnosed and repaired in the field. With agriculture-related degree programs already among its most popular offerings, Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls is adding a new Mobile Service Technician program to its list of degrees available. Beginning this fall, the new Mobile Service Technician program will train students to diagnose, repair and service agricultural equipment in rural locations using a specially-equipped service truck. According to ECC Agriculture Professor Kevin Butt, the program is the first of its kind in the nation.
“This is a relatively new but fast-growing sector in modern agriculture,” explains Kevin Butt, ECC agriculture professor. “As the size of ag equipment continues to increase, it has become harder to load and transport the equipment to a dealer’s location for repairs. Today, more than ever, dealers need to provide services at the customers’ location. ECC’s new Mobile Service Technician degree program will assist agricultural implement dealers and service organizations in providing quality service to ag producers in the field.”
Butt says he has a long list of Iowa and Midwest ag equipment dealers who are anxious to have the ECC students as interns and then as qualified graduates who will apply for their job openings.
“We have several outstanding area ag dealerships represented on the Advisory Council for this new program, including Casady Bros. Equipment, Central Iowa Farm Store, Phelps Implement, and Titan Machinery,” says Butt. “These professionals have been involved in the development of our new curriculum and in our marketing efforts, and they are looking forward to helping us provide the kind of hands-on, on-the-job training that they and other employers value so highly. With job prospects always a concern for college graduates, we believe this kind of industry involvement and support will go a long way in solidifying our recruitment efforts for the Mobile Service Technician program.”
ECC credits Dale Stockdale, store manager at Titan Machinery in Williams, with having the vision for the new degree program. “This new program at Ellsworth is right on the leading edge, and it’s going to be a big deal in the industry,” says Stockdale. “These professionals will do repairs or pull and replace parts out in the field and get the owners going very quickly. More of our work is leaning this way, and it’s resulted in mobile service technicians with literally hundreds of specialized skills. We just don’t have enough people with these skills. Some of these professionals love the variety and the challenge that comes with being a mobile service technician, while others can choose to develop a niche and become product specialists. With all of the proprietary product information and programming that’s involved, the opportunities are almost endless.”
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