In 2012, the Kansas Technology Center received three Caterpillar simulators, which helps train students to operate heavy equipment.

The simulators, which cost $100,000, help the students become acclimated to the type of machinery they will operate, manage and inspect when they join the workforce.

“These simulators allow us to take real jobsite applications that involve heavy equipment and bring them into the classroom,” said PSU construction instructor Paul Zerkel said.

School of Construction Chairman Jim Otter said the simulators serve as a complement to classroom instruction.

“We’re trying to set up more simulation laboratories, which industry is telling us is a strong trend these days,” Otter said. The simulators were featured at Company Day 2012, where more than 120 companies from around the world networked with PSU students.