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PCC alum to compete globally in CAT technician Olympics

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Ben Brown next to truck

CAT technician Ben Brown is all about service at his job.

In March, the Dealer Top Apprentice Program (DTAP) will feature a Portland Community College alum competing for global recognition.

Hosted in Melbourne, Australia, this event rewards and recognizes the ‘Best-of-the-Best Young Technicians’ in the Australia, New Zealand, and Indonesia region. It also welcomes top qualified ThinkBIG participants from the United States.

This year, Benjamin Brown, a PCC alum employed at Peterson CAT in Hillsboro as a field technician, qualified to compete at DTAP. During the competition, he will undergo tests covering various aspects of the CAT Dealer Service industry, ranging from written knowledge to hands-on skills, akin to a “Olympics.”

Caterpilar dozer.
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Brown graduated from the Dealer Service Technology Program (ThinkBIG) in 2022. The program, a partnership with regional Caterpillar dealerships, offers a two-year associate degree focused on the industry. Students undergo on-the-job internships at sponsoring dealerships to prepare for graduation and become qualified Caterpillar service technicians.

He praised the company for providing an excellent apprenticeship opportunity with its technicians to enhance his learning.

“I’m looking forward to putting my skills to the test against other technicians and going to places I’ve haven’t been to before,” he said of the competition. “If I wasn’t a DTAP I wouldn’t have this opportunity to go. I’m most nervous about the competition and making sure I do well – using the skills I’ve learned and being able to put them to the test and remembering to use them.”

Outside of work, Brown enjoys servicing his own cars and cherishes spending time with his family. An avid fisherman, he relishes outdoor activities. He finds fulfillment in his work at Caterpillar, particularly in assisting customers with machine servicing.

“I’m here to assist them and get them back on track,” he emphasized.

This isn’t the first time a PCC ThinkBIG alum has entered this world competition. Graduate Ryan Walker competed at the international competition in 2018 and aced Caterpillar Inc.’s Skills Olympics, and nabbed the top prize.

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, is the Director of Public Relations at Portland Community College. A graduate of Portland State University, James has worked as a section editor for the Newberg Graphic... more »