“When I came to Caterpillar to interview for a Demonstrator Instructor position, I really had no idea what to expect.”
Erik Esposito has been a Demonstrator Instructor (DI) at the Caterpillar Demonstration and Learning Center in Edwards IL for nearly five years, but his extensive work experience in the construction industry leading up to that is what got him an interview with the Edwards team.
Esposito got his start early working in landscaping running a skid steer, eventually moving into residential construction before finally landing a job in the union where he spent twelve years learning from experienced operators how to run equipment ranging from track loaders to excavators and back hoes.
“I didn’t even know what a demonstrator operator job was back in 2013 when I was recruited by an Edwards DI. Moving into this type of teaching environment seemed like a really significant change after spending years in the field, but I was ready to give it a shot, said Esposito.”
Caterpillar currently has three Demonstration Centers around the globe. The Demonstration and Learning Centers help customers become more competitive through comprehensive training. At the center, visitors gain application and product knowledge in high-tech classrooms and in the field, benefiting from years of training and expertise on the latest Cat equipment.
At the core of the demo centers are highly skilled demonstrator operators with a minimum of 10 years equipment operation experience in heavy construction, general construction, quarry/aggregates and or mining industries. Using this knowledge and skill, DI’s provide a variety of services through the Demonstration and Learning Centers.
“The best part about my job is the customer interaction. Being able to take what these machines can do and putting it into a language that our customers can not only understand but leverage to make them more successful and efficient is the best part about my job. There are so many different things these machines can do – this is stuff I wish I would have known when I was still an operator in the field, “said Esposito.
The team at the Edwards facility is small, with only eight demonstrator instructors on site, there is a never a dull moment. In 2017, the team did 734 customer focused programs either at the facility or offsite at the customer location, and on top of that they provided over 140 training classes. Beyond training and demonstrations, the team also helps put on student education focused events such as SAE BaJa and the NASA challenge. Because of the small team, the instructors have a great comradery as they travel the world together visiting a variety of locations and customer sites, which is one of the reasons Esposito said he was attracted to accept the job offer from Caterpillar.
“We have a lot of fun here, but we take our jobs extremely seriously, our motto is perfect is close enough…because at the end of the day everything we do, we do for our customers – and seeing it click with them is the ultimate pay off.”