Caleb Martin: Just two years from high-school graduation to rewarding career

Caleb Martin graduated from Linn-Benton Community College’s Heavy Equipment/Diesel Technology - Construction and Forestry Equipment Program in June 2021. After graduation, he moved on to a full-time position as a shop technician with Coastline Equipment.

It was almost exactly two years from Martin’s high school graduation to the day he began his new position at Coastline. His participation in cooperative work experience (CWE) helped him fast-track his way into a full-time career.

Martin was born and raised in California and spent his childhood summers working on his grandparents’ farm in the Midwest.  There he discovered his love and passion for heavy equipment and machinery. 

During his senior year of high school, Martin learned that his newly found passion could lead to a career in construction and forestry. He enrolled in the Diesel & Agricultural Program at a public CTE institution in his hometown of Bakersfield. After high school graduation, he worked as an intern at Coastline Equipment and earned a sponsorship to attend LBCC. 

Martin is ambitious. He recently received a Student Achievement Award from the Cooperative Education and Internship Association. This national award recognizes distinguished achievement and excellence among students who have participated in a work-integrated learning program. For Martin, that learning came through CWE at Coastline Equipment, while maintaining a 4.0 grade point average at LBCC.  

Martin credits CWE with providing him both basic theory and hands-on experience as a John Deere technician. “LBCC’s Construction and Forestry Program provided me with all the training and basic theory of electrical, hydraulics, powertrains, engines, and technical diagnosing skills that paved the path to success in my new career,” he said. 

At the same time, Martin’s ability to effectively diagnose and repair electrical problems improved quickly through his work experience. “I was gratified to be able to gain new knowledge from Coastline Equipment’s well-respected technicians,” said Martin. 

The feeling was mutual.

“It's refreshing to have an individual, at his age, to have such drive and work ethic, and to understand the importance of Coastline Equipment's values, goals, and needs to make our business successful,” said  Doug Ladd, Coastline Equipment’s Service Manager.

The ability to witness and assist with jobs in the field was one of Martin’s most beneficial learning experiences. The other was his Linn-Benton Community College education.

“It has been an amazing experience for me. I have received tremendous support and knowledge from the instructors at LBCC.”