Students and faculty of the commercial and heavy construction program at Washburn Institute of Technology, Topeka, Kan., found themselves in the spotlight when the state’s governor, Sam Brownback, recently stopped by for a visit.
Gov. Brownback recognized the innovative program for its role in training a new generation of equipment operators and construction contractors to help meet the state’s needs for infrastructure development and economic growth.
During his visit, Gov. Brownback got a hands-on perspective from the operator’s seat of a Case CX B Series compact excavator. Victor L Phillips Co., the local Case Construction Equipment dealership, exclusively provides all skid steers, compact track loaders, loader/backhoes, crawler dozers and compact excavators for the program. Victor L Phillips Co. is based in Kansas City, Mo., with three locations each in Missouri and Kansas, including Topeka.
Case also supports the Washburn students by providing tours and training at the Case plant in Wichita, where the company assembles Case Alpha Series skid steers and compact track loaders. Earlier this year, 35 students along with faculty members and the dean of Washburn Institute of Technology were provided a plant tour, technology training and presentation on how customers participate in the product development process.
The one-year program at Washburn combines classroom and hands-on learning, providing students an opportunity to become NCCER (National Center for Construction Education and Research) Certified Craft Technicians. Students who successfully complete the program may be eligible to complete their associate’s degree at Washburn University in Topeka.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (seated) tries out the operator’s seat of a Case CX B Series compact excavator during his recent visit to the commercial and heavy construction program at Washburn Institute of Technology, Topeka.