WOOSTER, Ohio—Emily Doss’ road to the Kubota Tech College training program, taught at Ohio State ATI, began in her hometown of Oak Hill in southern Ohio.
“I started out by going to the vocational school there, taking their ag diesel class,” she says. “I really enjoyed what I did there and was good at it, so I got a job where I work now, at Ricer Equipment, the Kubota dealer where I live.”
Seeing her skills and potential, Kubota staff asked if she’d be interested in taking the Kubota Tech College training program, which ATI offers in partnership with the company. Located in Wooster, ATI is part of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.
Doss jumped at the chance, she said, for two reasons: “to receive a higher education degree, and to be a better mechanic.”
Part of ATI’s power equipment major
Students in the Kubota Tech program first enroll as students in ATI’s two-year associate of applied science in power equipment program. The Kubota training is embedded within the power equipment program, explains ATI’s Robby Frutchey, who coordinates the program.
“The objectives of the power equipment program’s basic electricity course match so well with the electricity objectives of Kubota that we integrated that certification into the course,” Frutchey says.
“Same thing with engines,” he says. “The engine curriculum from Kubota matches very well to our diesel engines class, so while you’re taking the diesel engines class pursuing your associate degree, you’ll also earn the Kubota credential.”
In the end, students in the program take home an associate of applied science degree from ATI and are eligible to become certified Kubota technicians through the National Coalition of Certification Centers.
3,000-plus new jobs down the road
Together, the two programs offer a leg up for getting one of the estimated 3,400 new technician jobs that Kubota dealers expect to be hiring in the future, Frutchey says.
Frutchey, for his part, has taken the Kubota training himself. He’s gone through three train-the-trainer events to become a Level 1 certified instructor. In all, he holds eight Kubota certifications. He said he shares that experience with his students.
“You see a whole new level of chemistry in the classroom, because I’ve walked the walk, I’ve gone through the training, I’ve taken the tests as an instructor,” he says. “So, I can help the students and offer them tips on what made me successful to get my certification.”
Frutchey finds its gratifying to be partnering with Kubota.
Partners in training skilled workers
“The best part of the two programs is fostering a relationship between industry and education. That’s very powerful, because we’re all coming together to create the next generation of skilled workers,” he says.
“This shows that Kubota and Ohio State have a common goal to provide the next level of skilled workers. It’s what we preach at Ohio State. It’s what Kubota is preaching with this program.”
Doss says there’s a lot she appreciates from being in the two programs. Like learning how to disassemble large and small engines. Learning how to measure whether those engines are running correctly. The “wow” moment she had in her welding class: “I really enjoy welding, and it will be very useful for me in the long run,” she says. And simply, “all the new places we go to and the new people we meet.”
She plans to graduate in fall 2023 with a dual major in power equipment and hydraulic power and motion control. She said that after graduation, she hopes to open her own shop.
America’s best community college
Ohio State ATI, which offers 28 programs of study in total, is currently ranked No. 1 in the Best Community Colleges in America category by Niche.org.