Florence-Darlington Technical College was the recipient of $16,666 donation from Blanchard Machinery as part of its ongoing agreement for its Diesel Technology – Caterpillar Dealer Service Technician Program.
“For over 20 years of Blanchard’s 40-year history in South Carolina, graduates of the Caterpillar Dealer Academy have worked in our dealership to support our organization, more importantly, our customers and ultimately our community,” Blanchard Machinery’s Community & Employee Relations Director Katherine Blanchard Whittle said. “This gift will ensure the program has the technology needed to support the rapidly changing advancements associated with our diverse business.”
She added, “The future is bright for South Carolina, Florence-Darlington and Blanchard, and we look forward to strengthening this partnership for the greater good of South Carolina.”
This donation is part of the ongoing support that the three Carolina Caterpillar dealers - Blanchard Machinery, Carolina CAT, and Gregory Poole - give each year to support this program which was created in 2000. Each of the three dealers provides financial support for the Caterpillar program at FDTC to operate otherwise cost-prohibitive courses. These funds also go towards tool scholarships specifically for Caterpillar students each year.
“We are so grateful for the continued partnership that Blanchard Machinery and the other Caterpillar dealers in the Carolinas provide us so that we can, in turn, provide this program to students throughout the state and beyond,” FDTC President Dr. Jermaine Ford said. “At Florence-Darlington Technical College, we are always looking at ways to partner with companies so that we can provide our students with access to careers that offer a family sustaining wage.”
The Caterpillar ThinkBIG program is part of a worldwide network of Caterpillar-approved programs, including a sponsored workplace, hosting eight weeks of internships every semester. Rotating back into the workforce every semester, students accumulate a year's work of experience, complete their AAS degree and earn one year's worth of pay while in the 21-month program at Florence-Darlington Technical College.
There are a number of options globally and 10 other sister college programs serving the Caterpillar dealer in the United States. FDTC is proud to host the program for the entire North and South Carolina region.