What is Skill Up 26?

An accelerated opportunity for professional growth and development of technical skills and knowledge through mentorship, instructor-led and computer-based learning, and on-the-job training for new and experienced technicians.

How It Works:

Each trainee is required to participate in the Skill Up 26 program. Trainees will move through the program with a cohort of trainees for 26 weeks, following an outlined training schedule. Trainees will complete hands-on training as guided by their mentor(s) who will evaluate them on a weekly basis. To ensure progress, trainees will also be evaluated by their direct supervisor at 12 weeks and 24 weeks. Upon completion of the program and all of its’ requirements, trainees will immediately be eligible for promotion within Louisiana Cat.

What You’ll Learn:

Throughout the program, trainees will learn and apply critical skills, including:

  • Development of Technical Skills
  • Goal Setting
  • Priority Management
  • Company Processes & Procedures
  • Corporate Culture
  • Building Professional Relationships

Think Big with Louisiana CAT

The Cat® Dealer Prep Program is a cooperative two-year college level Student Technician education program that leads to an Associate in Applied Science degree with a major in Caterpillar Service Technology. The two-year, six semester program incorporates approximately one-half of the time designated for technical /academic education at OSU Institute of Technology. The remaining time is allocated for on-the-job experience at Louisiana Cat facilities. Each block of technical education and general education course work is followed by an immediate dealership work experience time period that reinforces the technical education. These time periods are approximately 7 ½ weeks in length each.

Technical training on Caterpillar equipment and components includes the latest developments in: Engine Repair; Hydraulic Systems; Electrical and Electronic Systems; Test Procedures and Diagnostic Tools. In addition to the technical curriculum, courses will be offered in areas such as Math; Composition/Technical Writing; Psychology, U.S. History; U.S. Government; Business and Ethics to provide students with the background necessary for effective communication of ideas and the development on interpersonal skills.

The internship allows students to apply, in a real-world setting, what they have learned during the previous classroom/lab sessions. In addition, students become familiar with the dealership environment, its organizational structure, and the competencies that are expected of a professional service technician.

Build Your Future

1. Complete your application for ThinkBIG at, applications are accepted online January through May for enrollment in the fall semester.

2. Once your online application is received, Louisiana Cat will contact you to complete the full ThinkBIG application, which includes:

  • 2 Letters of recommendation (from Instructors, Mentors, and/or Employers)
  • Copy of high school transcripts
  • ACT or ACCUPLACER Scores
  • Overall Minimum GPA of 2.0

3. If you meet the program pre-requisites, Louisiana Cat will contact you for further testing in the areas of mechanical aptitude, basic math, verbal, and communication skills, and computer literacy. You will also complete a general personality inventory. Based on the assessment results, Louisiana Cat will contact the top candidates and schedule interviews.

4. The interview team from Louisiana Cat will review all completed application packets and test results. Top candidates will be selected for interviews. Interviews will take place between March and May.

5. Once all interviews have been completed, Louisiana Cat will select the students approved for a paid summer internship with Louisiana Cat. This internship will start June 1st and end July 31st. You will be required to pass a drug screen, criminal background check, and social security verification.

6. Final selection of ThinkBIG students will be based on a combination of all test results, interview scores and performance during internship. Selected students will be notified in July and classes begin in October.