(WEST FARGO, N.D. – August 23, 2023) – Titan Machinery with support of community and technical colleges in Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota recently hosted nearly 140 9th and 10th grade students during Titan Machinery Diesel Camps. The camps are an innovative new program that provides students with hands-on experience in the field of diesel mechanics. Campers worked alongside certified diesel technology instructors, industry experts from Titan and current student technicians to problem-solve real-world mechanical issues, learn about the inner workings of machines and actively complete equipment repairs. They also drove equipment and toured the campuses.
“Through these camps, our goal is to increase awareness of and interest in career and technical education (CTE) programs and ensure students appreciate the income potential and lifestyle advantages of skilled trade careers,” said Sarah Kenz, talent acquisition manager at Titan Machinery, West Fargo, North Dakota.
The camps spanned two to four days each, providing attendees an understanding of shop safety, diesel technology basics (electrical, hydraulics, drivetrain/powertrain, engines and fuel systems) as well as a look at future technology in the equipment industry. They were held at these four schools:
- Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
- Central Community College, Hastings, Nebraska
- North Dakota State College of Science, Wahpeton, N.D.
- Lake Area Technical College, Watertown, S.D.
Positive student response sets stage for 2024 diesel camps
Due to the number of students participating and positive responses from students and parents, Titan and the instructors at each college have already begun planning for camps in 2024.
“The response was overwhelming,” Kenz said. “We’re already looking for dates May through July of 2024 and hope to host even more students through this program.” Kenz shared post-event survey feedback gathered from students and parents.
- “My favorite part of camp was learning about engines and how to adjust the valves on an engine. I also liked learning about the new technology that will be used in the future.”
- “Basically everything I loved. Working in the shop and getting my hands dirty.”
- “My favorite part of the camp was talking to the diesel instructors and running the heavy equipment. I also enjoyed getting to see the Hastings campus.”
- “Running the heavy machinery, welding and meeting new people.”
Parents also chimed in:
- “It was a great opportunity to explore career opportunities. It also got him excited to get through high school onto the next step!!!”
- “He had so much fun! What a great idea to have a camp like this!”
- “Met new friends and had a great time.”
- “The experience and learning he has control of his future were the most enjoyable aspects for my camper.”
- “Hands-on activities and working on the equipment. Also enjoyed touring Case plant.”
- “Jordan loved it so much that she is going back next year.”
Effort designed to change misconceptions, build for the future.
The Titan Machinery Diesel Camps program is unique in its approach to exposing young students to career options in the skilled trades and helping to change misconceptions about diesel mechanics. By providing a safe, fun and interesting learning environment, the camp aims to encourage more students to consider a career in this field. The program is also designed to change the perception of a diesel mechanic career that educators and parents may hold. By partnering with key program partners, Titan is helping to close the skilled trades gap and create a wider breadth of “people they know” for students to turn to for information and guidance about post-high school plans.
According to new data from Stanley Black & Decker, almost 80% of young people and their parents are worried about how they’ll pay for college, making a career in the skilled trades an attractive option. The Stanley Black & Decker Inaugural Makers Index surveyed high schoolers, parents of high schoolers and skilled trade workers, and found that many young people hold outdated ideas about the trades, with about one in four disagreeing that skilled trades work with cutting-edge technology and one in five disagreeing that the work is in high demand.
Trades considered to be gender specific.
Additionally, the study shows there are discrepancies in knowledge, consideration and appeal between genders when it comes to skilled trades. Boys are more familiar with and likely to consider a career in a skilled trade than girls, and parents of boys are more likely to see a skilled trade career as a very appealing option for their child. The program aims to help solve this skilled talent shortage by driving more engagement with women and demonstrating how this career field in the equipment industry can be an opportunity for everyone.
Titan Machinery currently owns and operates a network of more than 90 full-service agricultural and construction dealerships in North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Idaho, Wyoming, Wisconsin and Colorado offering products from Case IH, New Holland and others, in addition to having operations in eastern Europe. To learn more about Titan Machinery and the new Diesel Camps, visit www.titanmachinery.com/