Students get job training at PrairieLand John Deere

Three students from the area accepted scholarships that will allow them to study at Fort Scott Community College's John Deere technician training program, then work Iola's PrairieLand location for three years.

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May 2, 2022 - 4:35 PM

Tyler Newland, right, parts manager for PrairieLand Partners of Iola, gives Eric Hockett and grandparents William and Vicki Fry, a tour of the store’s service department. Photo by Tim Stauffer / Iola Register

Three area students accepted sponsorships from PrairieLand John Deere of Iola on Friday, committing to study at Fort Scott Community College’s John Deere technician training program. One of the best parts? They’ll have a guaranteed job waiting for them when they graduate. 

Eric Hockett of Burlington, Raef Schaffer of Olathe and Zach Thies of LaCygne will begin the five-semester program this fall. PrairieLand John Deere of Iola offers a full-ride scholarship as long as students maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.5 during their studies.

Coursework, which takes place at Fort Scott Community College’s campus of Agricultural Technology, blends with work at PrairieLand’s Iola location, where the students gain real-world experience as paid interns. Students rotate through all areas of the store, learning how to service, repair and rebuild John Deere equipment. Two half-semesters will be spent in Iola.

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