INA – Donations to the Rend Lake College Heavy Equipment Technology Program are typically in-kind in that the students get to learn how to repair the equipment and the donor gets a free fix after paying for parts. Never before has the program received a complete piece of equipment without having to give it back.
However, Lester Pitchford, owner of Pitchford Elevator Company in Richview, recently donated a front-end loader that is a true donation. The loader is a valued piece of training equipment that students in the RLC program can use for years to come.
According to Heavy Equipment Technology (HEQT) Instructor Joe Kloepper; his student, David Bryant, initiated the donation from Pitchford and the equipment was being prepared for transport to RLC this week.
Pitchford’s Michigan front-end loader is the first donation of a complete piece of equipment that the program has received from an individual.
“We’ve received engines and power train components but this is the first donation of an entire piece of equipment,” Kloepper said.
“This donation is so valuable to the program,” he added. “With the rapid growth of our program, we need as many pieces of equipment as we can obtain. This donation will truly allow students to benefit from training on a piece of equipment that is used in the industry.”
The program, which has nearly doubled in headcount since its inception at RLC, is training the future heavy equipment technicians for the local workforce and beyond.
Kloepper recently presented Pitchford a plaque to thank him for his gift of the front-end loader.
The donated loader is an example for others to follow. Individuals, organizations or corporations with pieces of equipment they would like to donate to the RLC HEQT Program can contact Kloepper at 618-437-5321, Ext. 7914. Donations may be eligible as tax deductions up to the appraised value of the donated piece of equipment, Kloepper explained.
In addition to the Michigan front-end loader, Pitchford has also agreed to let the students in HEQT repair another loader with electrical problems. All it will cost Pitchford is the price of parts needed to fix the loader.
“We encourage others in the area to donate their equipment to the program,” Kloepper said.
For additional information about this release, one may call Kloepper at the college.