Diesel Tech Recruiter Speaks with Ag Power Students at PCC

Job placement is the goal of many of the students in the Agriculture Power Technology program at Pratt Community College.

The Ag Power program trains certified Diesel Technicians with a highly successful job placement rate. After eight weeks in the classroom, students spend eight weeks in a paid internship at a dealership.

Students at PCC spent class time hearing from Ron Gans from Landmark Implement. Diesel Technicians are a vital part of the Parts and Services department at his dealership.

He gave honest insight about what they can expect on the job, and what he’s looking for when it comes time to hire them.

Gans sees a lot of potential hires today with technical know-how, but they aren’t always ready for the workplace. “Soft skills” and dedication are missing.

“We’re missing soft skills as far as your interaction with customers, your coworkers, your interaction on a phone talking with somebody, not just face to face. Understanding personalities and trying to communicate better with different personalities, those are a number of the soft skills that we’re missing because of the world we’re living in today.”

So why visit PCC?

He drove past a lot of other schools on his way to meet with instructor Ralph Williams and his students. Landmark Implement is based in Nebraska.

“Pratt Community College is a small college, I mean there are a lot of colleges that are much larger, much bigger attendance and a bigger shop, but Ralph does a fabulous job with the students that he has. He does a great job at the basics of the fundamentals. Some schools aren’t focusing on that.”

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When Gans started recruiting for Landmark Implement's Kansas locations, he found Pratt, KS and remembers feeling welcome.

“The first time I called Ralph he was super open to having me come speak, and we’re just kind of a kindred spirit, he’s no-nonsense, he’ll tell you the way it is… politely, but you know there’s a real desire for him to make his students the best that they could be.”

The students in the classroom gained a lot from Gans’ visit, even when job placement wasn’t everyone’s goal. He gave perspective on how training as a Diesel Tech is a great asset to take back to the farm.

The Ag Power program also hosted a technical school from Louisiana for an informational visit earlier in the year.