First round of heavy equipment operator program students graduate from Southwest Virginia Community College

First graduating class of Heavy Equipment Operator program.
From left to right, with students: Jennifer Hicks, Leslie Tiller, Justin Stacy, Dr. Tommy Wright (President), Noah Puckett (Instructor), Zachary Hays, Michael Stacy, Aaron Goodman

Richlands— August 16, 2019 — Southwest Virginia Community College officials celebrated their latest workforce training program with a graduation ceremony for students of the new heavy equipment operator program. The cohort of students completed an intensive nine-week training program to receive in-demand credentials in heavy equipment operation and safety, including key credentials recognized by Virginia’s Fast Forward workforce initiative.

“There is a significant demand for heavy equipment operators in the region which is triggered by current and anticipated building construction, highway, and other projects,” said Randall Rose, Dean of Workforce & Continuing Education at the College. “We’ve designed the program to include student introductions to interested employers, which is a win-win for both parties”, Rose continued.

Students who participated in the program were introduced to hiring companies in the region through an employer engagement event, which is included as a key part of the overall heavy equipment program training schedule. Employment skills training is also imbedded in the program training to better prepare students as they work to secure a job in the industry in the region.

“SWCC is dedicated to becoming a premier workforce training provider for the Virginia Community College System and for the Commonwealth as a whole, and this new training program is yet another example of the steps we are taking to help reach that goal,” stated Dr. Thomas Wright, president of SWCC.

The second heavy equipment operator program training cohort is currently underway at the college, with other following training cohorts to occur frequently in the future, including the third cohort which is anticipated to start in October.

Southwest Virginia Community College is dedicated to being the region’s premier workforce solutions and training provider, serving the college’s service region since 1967. The College’s workforce and continuing education division conducts workforce training programs in support of that goal.