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NRCC to offer new heavy equipment operator program

Feb 04 2021

New River Community College recently received state approval to offer a new short-term training program for those interested in heavy equipment operator.

The heavy equipment operator and core craft skills courses will teach students the necessary basics to start a career as a trade apprentice and heavy equipment operator through a combination of online training and live lab training. The heavy equipment operator level 1 course is an 88-hour online class that offers hands-on training using simulators, which replicate real-life operating scenarios through rotation-motion platforms and high-resolution 3D displays for excavator and wheel loader equipment. Students in this course will learn orientation to the trade, heavy equipment safety, identification of heavy equipment, basic operational techniques, utility tractors, introduction to earthmoving, interpreting civil drawings, and using simulator exercises for equipment basic controls, loading and unloading, excavating, and trenching.

“Implementation of the heavy equipment operator program will assist local business and industry in securing skilled employees,” said Ross Matney, workforce training coordinator at NRCC. “The CAT simulators will offer realistic operating situations while the course curriculum also includes employable skills to assist students in obtaining employment opportunities.”

The program will also include a 70-hour online core craft skills course. The competencies covered in this class are basic safety, introduction to construction math, introduction to hand tools, introduction to power tools, introduction to construction drawings, basic communication skills, basic employability skills, and introduction to materials and handling.

After completing these classes, students will be eligible to sit for the Heavy Equipment Operator Level 1 Certification exam and the Core Craft Skills Certification exam under the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) accreditation agency.

The program will be administered by NRCC’s workforce development office as one of its FastForward offerings, which are low-cost, short-term training programs that prepare students for in-demand careers. Typically, students who take FastForward programs pay only one-third of the normal cost of training. Additional funds are also available to help offset training costs.

An exact date and enrollment details for the first course offerings in the new program will be announced at a later date. For more information, contact NRCC workforce development at (540) 674-3613 or email WFDtraining@nr.edu.

Call (540) 674-3600 or toll-free 1-866-462-6722, then you will be prompted to add the extension number to reach any employee.

Kelly Kaiser


Public Relations Assistant

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Jill Ross


Public Relations Specialist

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