The latest class to complete Jefferson State’s Heavy Equipment Operator (HEO) program was honored during a ceremony on Thursday, Aug. 4, at the college’s Chilton-Clanton Campus.
HEO students learn real-life skills in the construction industry and also benefitted from seat time on the college’s state-of-the-art heavy equipment simulator.
Areas of study include:
- Operation of a wheeled loader
- Reading construction blueprints
- Heavy equipment safety
- Hydraulic systems and their components
- Equipment and methods used in making measurements and establishing finish grades
The certification gained upon completion of the 12-week program is completely industry-led through contractor customized input from NCCER curriculum and the first two weeks on an actual construction job site. Graduates are prepared for entry-level heavy equipment roles.
The graduates were Goffery Lane, Phillip Lane, Williams Jennings, Charity Ivie, Trevor Edwards, Kristy Lee McKinney, Adrian Forman, Joslyn Forman, and Richard Ray.
The graduates are currently applying for jobs and interviewing. Dunn Construction, Saiia, MidSouth Paving, and TE Stevens Construction all visited the class to promote opportunities.
Heavy equipment operation is a high-demand role in the construction industry. Workers can expect to earn around $18-$25 per hour once they are certified. In Alabama, there are more than 2,800 construction job openings each year, with a need for more than 600,000 heavy equipment operators across the U.S. through December 2022.
There has been significant interest in the program, which typically has a wait list for admission. Those interested are encouraged to apply at jeffersonstate.edu/heo.
“We are grateful for the support of the Craft Training Board of Alabama, who funds the project, and our business and industry support for the curriculum and referrals to the program,” Training Coordinator Alex Blevins said. “We are excited that our fourth class is completing and look forward to continuing this important program at our Chilton-Clanton Campus.”