Ian Bell

Fox Valley Technical College

Diesel Power Generation & Marine Service Technician, 2014

Field Service Technician, Fabick CAT

Just two years out of high school at the age of 20, Ian Bell was able to purchase his first house.

During his high school years in Michigan, Ian worked on cars and motorcycles, installed docks and boat lifts. He visited Fox Valley Technical College, heard about the Diesel Electric Power Generation and Marine Service Technician program at the FABTECH Service Technician Education Center and decided to enroll. This one-year technical diploma prepares students to repair and maintain Caterpillar engines and generators used as standby or main power sources. They also learn to work on power generators used by large ships on the Great Lakes.

The college has a close relationship with Fabick CAT, the exclusive Caterpillar dealer throughout major portions of Missouri, Illinois, the upper peninsula of Michigan and the entire state of Wisconsin. Fabick provides equipment for students to learn on and hires many graduates.

“We had a lot of opportunities to work with the latest equipment, tools and parts,” Ian said. “I learned to do things the right way, the way you would be doing it at work.”

A few months before the end of the FVTC program, students begin training as interns at various work sites. Ian started working and training at Fabick’s Green Bay location. A job offer came during that internship, before he even finished the program.

Ian travels quite a bit and enjoys the variety of power generation settings. Some days he works on wood chippers or rock crushers. Other days he is in a school or hospital. In the winter, he spends about two months working on generators aboard ships docked in various locations all over the Great Lakes.