News & Media  »  Multnomah ESD Partners with Baker Technical Institute to Provide High-Tech Heavy Equipment Operator Training

Multnomah ESD Partners with Baker Technical Institute to Provide High-Tech Heavy Equipment Operator Training

Jan 6, 2020


Media Contact:  Sandy Mitchell, Baker Technical Institute,, 541-524-2651

Young Women at Three Lakes and Riverside High Schools at Oak Creek Correctional Facility Gain Traction Toward a Career in Heavy Equipment Operation

Baker Technical Institute (BTI) is pleased to announce that they will be partnering with Multnomah Educational Service District (MESD) and the Oregon Youth Authority (OYA) to provide heavy equipment operator training for it’s students in Albany, Oregon.


BTI will provide approximately 80 hours of introductory operator training for students at the Oak Creek facility beginning on January 13th.  BTI will utilize it’s mobile operator training platform that is equipped with the latest technology of virtual reality CAT simulators to train on heavy construction equipment such as dozers, graders, wheel loaders and excavators.


“Being able to take this training right to their location and provide these students with employable skills that are in demand across the nation is exciting, ” says BTI President Doug Dalton. “Our team is thrilled to be a part of providing these students with real career-connected opportunities, through hands-on learning, that can build a foundation of skills, confidence and a passion for a successful career.”


The training is the result of a proactive approach of MESD/OYA leadership in providing students with career and technical training that can lead to high-demand high-wage jobs after being released.  “Every chance we get, we look for medium to high wage skills our students can learn. This is the right work to do, and we are thrilled that BTI is partnering with us,” says Joy Koenig, Principal of Three Lakes and Riverside High Schools.


Upon completion of the course, the students can earn a certificate of completion showing their training levels for each piece of equipment that they reach the minimum operating standards on.


BTI heavy equipment instructor Dawson Vanderwiele will rely on her own experience as an operator to not only provide the students with equipment operator skills, but to also guide students through the intangible essential skills that are key in gaining employment, retaining positions and advancing in this field, such as resume writing, interviewing, critical thinking skills, and much more.


Dawson, who grew up in a family of heavy equipment operators, has been running them herself for as long as she can remember.  She now has turned her time to teaching others the trade.  Three years ago Dawson became the first female trained instructor in the nation on CAT simulators; the technology she now utilizes to train with, along with the real equipment, as she travels the Pacific Northwest as part of the BTI heavy equipment team.  “I love to teach, but it is extra special when I get a chance to teach other females about the profession,'' says Vanderwiele.  “Often times all they need is the exposure to a career they did not know about, and given a start on the right path.”