Heavy equipment course available for high schoolers
High school seniors can learn the basics of heavy equipment operation through a class at Lord Fairfax Community College.
Six eligible Fauquier public school seniors this spring will have the opportunity to take a free heavy equipment operator certification course.
The school system, in conjunction with Lord Fairfax Community College’s Workforce Solutions program, will offer the course at the Vint Hill campus March 26 through June 13.
The course will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Eligible students must be 18 years old by June 15, 2019. The course also requires students to have lived in Virginia for 12 months before the first class, and have transportation to the Vint Hill campus.
Students will be notified of their acceptance in the program on or before March 18.
The course includes an introduction to the trade, safety techniques, basic operation and an introduction to earthmoving, among other topics.
“I think it’s a fantastic opportunity to get real training that will lead to employment as early as the middle of June,” said Career and Technical Education Supervisor Sarah Frye. “This curriculum is so closely linked to employment. This course is designed based on the needs of our heavy equipment contractors in the area.”
Students will earn one elective credit upon successful completion of the course.
Grants and Fauquier’s school system will cover the cost of the course for students.
The class also includes a hiring fair with guaranteed interviews from potential employers.
The Heavy Construction Contractors Association (HCCA) lists heavy equipment operators as earning a competitive salary of $17 to $27 per hour, plus benefits.
According to the HCCA, “The combination of new housing, commercial development and transportation infrastructure to accommodate the growth promises a robust need for a construction workforce in the site development and transportation sector.”