March 29, 2021

Long-term partnership with Milton CAT allows students to learn on excavators and backhoes

Berlin, NH – Students in the Associate of Science in Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology program at White Mountains Community College (WMCC) are benefitting from some serious hands-on learning through the generosity of Milton CAT out of Londonderry NH. The company has donated the usage of a CAT 313 Tracked Excavator with thumb and bucket attachments to the college for the semester so students can better understand the equipment and technology in this 33,000-pound piece of machinery.

Milton CAT is a long-time supporter of this program and the college. Each spring, the company provides an excavator for use in the program and each fall it provides a backhoe. The company regularly brings students on for summer co-ops and internships, recently provided four students with scholarships and has hired many graduates. Additionally, the company has donated additional machinery, helped with instructor development and stepped up last spring with a donation of PPE that included gloves, vests, glasses and hearing protection.

“This significant partnership with Milton CAT literally goes back to day two of the diesel and heavy equipment program,” said Marc Pouliot, assistant professor and program coordinator for the program at WMCC. “In 1997 we met with the technical services manager and their technical trainer to discuss the new program and how we could possibly work together on it. We had our ideas of what needed to be done and they theirs, and luckily, we pretty much matched. It’s a mutually beneficial partnership that produces highly qualified graduates that are job ready.”

The program prepares students to diagnose and service diesel powered trucks and off-highway equipment, training future technicians to analyze and repair diesel engines, transmissions, hydraulics and all other related operating and controlling systems. WMCC offers the only diesel heavy equipment program in New Hampshire and the only Associated Equipment Distributor (AED) accredited program in New England. 

By having the heavy equipment on site, students can use the excavator for hydraulic training, including how the hydraulic system works, how they function, diagnostics and repair. The equipment is currently what is being used in the field, making the training instantly relevant in the workplace.

“This partnership is proof that we are doing the right things, and that our students are in demand,” Pouliot said.  

There are four options for students in this program. The on-highway option prepares students to work on heavy-duty on-highway trucks. The off-highway option prepares students to work on large earth moving, agricultural and forestry equipment. The parts and service management option prepares students to work as parts and service consultants, as parts or service managers, or in general service management positions. A one-year certificate option is also available. To learn more contact Marc Pouliot at

Pictured above: Marc Pouliot, Assistant Professor of Diesel Heavy Equipment Technology and students pictured with excavator donated by Milton CAT. From left to right, Sam Rose, Nolan Grenier, Ethan Nugent, Alex Fox, Garret Rikkers, Gavin Grant Jacob Alexander, Josh Hawkes, Emily Paquette, Dylan Fielding.