State News
1:37 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Cat partnering with community college

Caterpillar wants to inspire young people to pursue careers in science and engineering. Wednesday, it announced a partnership with the Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, starting with an exhibit in downtown Davenport.

The company parked one of its newest model bulldozers outside the colleges' Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center, and set up a training simulator inside. Scott Johnson, worldwide product manager for medium tractor products, says Caterpillar believes the emphasis in education today should be on reading, science, math, and technical skills.

“Students who visit this lab will be the future engineers, the future innovators who will find new ways to help our customers be successful, and do it in a way that supports sustainability.”

And he hopes hands-on experience, including the simulator, and even climbing on a large bulldozer, will help students choose technical careers. Community colleges chancellor, Don Doucette , says one of their top priorities is to work with companies so future workers have the right skills. 

“Our goal is to harness the fun that will inspire future scientists, and future engineers, and future technicians, and future inventors. What can be more than driving heavy equipment?”

The advanced technology center opened 20 years ago, with displays and programs focused on energy and environmental education, for students and teachers.