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Case Construction Equipment provides volunteer disaster training

By Stephen Elliott

August 13, 2023

Case Construction Equipment volunteer programCase Construction Equipment, Racine, Wis., and Team Rubicon, a veteran-led humanitarian organization that serves global communities before, during and after disasters and crises, are expanding heavy equipment operator training by training more volunteers. 

Earlier this year, a pilot program started with two of the interested Case dealers: RPM Machinery, Franklin, Ind., and Lawrence Equipment, Roanoke, Va. On a monthly basis, these dealers provide machines for Team Rubicon volunteers to train on, an indoor classroom and outdoor operating space. 

“As soon as we heard about the need to help train more heavy equipment operators, we raised our hand,” said Dustin Cole, executive vice president, Lawrence Equipment. “We’re very active in our local communities and want to ensure Virginia is prepared if disaster strikes, as well as help train volunteers to deploy wherever they are needed throughout the U.S. and Canada.” 

Case and its parent company’s foundation, CNH Industrial Foundation, have been longtime supporters of Team Rubicon. Case deploys machinery through its dealer network to numerous disaster response and community service projects across North America, while the foundation has supported efforts with monetary support. 

“The work that Team Rubicon does aligns with the company’s sustainability goals and the CNH Industrial Foundation’s priorities,” said Michelle Javaherian, community impact manager, CNH Industrial. “We’ve made many donations over the years. Last year, the CNH Industrial Foundation gave $600,000 to support Team Rubicon’s Ready Reserve Fund and heavy equipment operator training in the U.S. and Canada.” 

Team Rubicon’s volunteers, which go by “Greyshirts,” register for the monthly training and learn how to operate compact track loaders and excavators. 

“One of the most critical tasks after disasters strike is getting much-needed resources to that area. Our Greyshirts, including sawyers and heavy equipment operators, help clear trees and debris from roads, allowing first responders and survivors to regain access to the community,” said William Porter, director of operations support, Team Rubicon. 

This training has been put to use by Team Rubicon in all phases of the disaster cycle across the U.S., including wildfire mitigation, hurricane response and long-term storm recovery. Case and Team Rubicon plan to expand the number of dealers participating in the heavy equipment operator training program in 2024. 

Founded following the Haiti earthquake in 2010, Team Rubicon has grown to more than 160,000 volunteers across the U.S. and has launched over 1,100 operations domestically and internationally. 

Case first partnered with Team Rubicon in 2015 to develop a heavy equipment training program for its volunteers for the safe and effective use of construction equipment in disaster operations. For more information on the partnership between Case and Team Rubicon, or to support communities in response to natural disasters, visit