By Kathy Lefler/Communications and Marketing Manager
Meet our newest team member – a CASE skid steer loader. This versatile machine is a generous gift from CASE Construction Equipment and will provide Wichita Habitat with much-needed assistance at a time when COVID-19 limits our ability to engage large numbers of volunteers to build affordable homes.
A team from CASE made the official delivery of the skid steer on July 7. “This is a great opportunity that the team is excited about,” said Troy Williams, CNH North America Region EHSE manager.
Ann Fox, Wichita Habitat’s executive director, said the skid steer could not have come at a better time. Right now, volunteer teams are limited to 10 people to ensure everyone’s health and safety by maintaining physical distancing within the relatively small project space, Fox said. While this is necessary because of the pandemic, it has slowed the construction cycle at a time when the need for safe, affordable housing is at an all-time high.
“Everything you are doing is helping us to continue to make these homes affordable for families who need and deserve the opportunity to be homeowners,” Fox said. “Habitat families are people who work on the front lines as restaurant managers, clinicians at health care offices, as legal secretaries, as receptionists and LPNs. They work in our nursing facilities They are working very hard for a very modest wage and can’t afford housing in Wichita.” Habitat homeowners build their homes alongside volunteers and purchase their homes on an affordable mortgage.
Receiving the skid steer is a dream come true for Wichita Habitat’s construction staff. “Every year Brian (Knolla) and I talk about the tools we need and a skid steer always comes up,” said Dana Korkki, construction manager.
Here’s why a skid steer is so sought after: “They call it a Swiss Army Knife because you can do a lot of things with it,” said John Hall of CNH skid steer.
And Wichita Habitat will do A LOT of things with this machine. “Besides loading and unloading materials this piece of equipment will help us prep our lots, do grading work and make a safer environment,” said Dana Korkki, It will be a huge asset int the Rock the Block because it will clear dead trees, concrete and brush from vacant lots in Wichita Habitat’s revitalization neighborhood. It even will help set trusses – one of the hardest jobs on the build site.
CASE — a brand of CNH Industrial — has been supporting several projects with Habitat for Humanity in recent years. CASE believes strongly in investing in local communities as part of its deep-rooted commitment to sustainability in every aspect of its business.
“Our work with Habitat for Humanity allows us to help build stronger communities, and provide housing and resources for deserving families,” says Leandro Lecheta, head of construction equipment — North America, CASE. “The CASE skid steer donated today will take some of the heavy lifting off the shoulders of volunteers, allow them to get more done in a day, and put even more families back on the path of home ownership.”
CASE employees frequently volunteer with Habitat organizations across the U.S. through the company’s Impact Day program — and the Wichita chapter also shares its hometown with the CNH Industrial manufacturing plant in Wichita, which manufactures every CASE skid steer and compact track loader working worldwide.
CNH Industrial manufactures and markets agricultural and construction equipment under its Case IH, New Holland Agriculture, CASE Construction Equipment and New Holland Construction brands, as well as powertrain systems for FPT Industrial in North America.