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BTI offers ag education opportunities

Alesa Miller
BTI employee Hannah Nicoles explains an ag-tech program to area high school students on February 17 at BTI in Greensburg.

BTI in Greensburg hosted an Ag Tech career night on February 17, 2020 at 6:30 pm. The event was for freshman to senior high school students and their parents to hear about the possibility of a career at BTI, and the educational opportunities associated with such a career.

BTI partners with colleges and technical schools to help aspiring service technicians obtain an education while getting hands-on experience in their dealership. The colleges they currently partner with right include Garden City Community College, Southeast Community College (Milford NE) and Barton College in Great Bend KS.

“We hope to work out a partnership with Pratt Community College soon,” said BTI store manager and sales representative Shawn Harmon. “By sponsoring this program it assures we have the most knowledgeable techs working on our equipment for the ever-changing technology going into our machines.”

The benefits for students who join the fully-sponsored John Deere Ag Tech Program is that BTI pays for tuition, fees, books, campus room and board, which ends up being about $25,000.

The program takes two years to complete and requires a five-year commitment to work for BTI after graduation. While working at John Deere, students will begin earning an entry level income of $40,000 to $50,000.

Students who participate in the John Deere’s Ag Tech Program will also earn a two-year associate degree, which can put the students on a path to build a successful and rewarding career at BTI.

The students also receive a $7,000 loan for purchase of tools and a company laptop with all the needed software and programs.

Students are also guaranteed a job with BTI after graduation from the tech program, which also allows them to earn and graduate with an Associate’s Degree upon completion of the program.

Those attending the evening event were able to ask questions and actually see hands on demonstrations of what they will be doing if they decide to participate in the program.

“One of the best features about the program is students work while they learn,” Harmon said. “The program features internship breaks in classes allowing students to earn a paycheck while shadowing an experienced tech.”

BTI is also hosting Customer Appreciation Days on March 4 in Pratt, March 5 in Greensburg and March 6 in Great Bend.