A North Mississippi college program is placing almost one hundred percent of its students in jobs. The demand for students who complete their program is so high, they can't get students fast enough.
"It's in real big demand, right now, to have somebody to do this stuff.," says student Brian Layton.
Welcome to John Deere Tech, Northwest Mississippi Community College where the student's tuition is paid for up front by John Deere dealerships. When they get out of school, they are guaranteed jobs.
"Every one of these students is getting placed. We can't fulfill the needs of the dealers, we need more students, and the problem is finding enough students," says JD Tech Instructor Jeremy Massey.
"Tennessee Tractor is paying my tuition," added Tyler Jones, student. "After I get through, I will continue to work for Tennessee Tractor and go as high as I can."
They start their training on the smaller John Deere yard tractors.
"We try to cut their teeth early on the small stuff to get their confidence level up," Massey said. "I can show them a piston, a connector rod of anything, just as well on a small engine.
After their first year, they move up to the big boys, fully computerized $250,000 tractors, and $650,000 combines.
"John Deere gives us every bit of this equipment, usually $1 million worth and we have it for 200-300 days before these tractors go back to the dealership," Massey said.
The tractors go back to the dealership, and after the students finish their two years of training, they go back to the dealerships as certified John Deere technicians, making $15 an hour to $80,000 a year.
By the time they graduate, each John Deere dealership has about $15,000 invested in each student.
"Well, I just started out in diesel mechanic school and one day, I walked into a John Deere dealership and told them I was going to diesel mechanic school, and they said well how would you like to go for us, and I said great," Layton said. "As I am done here, I will have a job with Southern Tractor in Mendenhall, Miss., where I live," says Layton.
Among their other proudest moments at John Deere Tech, they restored Elvis Presley's John Deere tractor that is in the auto museum at Graceland in Memphis.
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