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Students (l-r) Ty Garner, Zeb Garner, Ian White, Grady Stokes and Tripp Bailey take control of heavy equipment at a worksite after completing the Heavy Equipment Operator pathway.

PCHS Heavy Equipment Operators

The inaugural students in Pike County High School’s new Heavy Equipment Operator Pathway all passed their infield Excavator Capstone with Ian White named as ‘Smooth Operator’ for achieving the highest score on the evaluation.

“Today was the first time they got to test their skills on live equipment rather than the simulators. They were evaluated by professional contractors who are experts in this field and they surpassed the expectations,” said Work Based Learning Coordinator Jennifer Shepherd. “We are so proud of these guys and excited for the future of this program! Thank you McLeRoy Inc. and CW Matthew Contracting for being such active partners in this program and ensuring success for these students!”

The Heavy Equipment Operator Pathway started in October as one of only 15 programs in the state. Students were able to learn by using state-of-the-art simulators to practice operating excavators, dozers, mulching forestry kits and backhoes. The HEO pathway included classroom curriculum and simulation programs that covered industry fundamentals and occupational safety, excavator operator training, advanced construction excavator, dozer operating training, track-type tractor training, advanced dozer and an industry partner certification as part of the students’ Capstone projects.

Community partners who support the HEO pathway include McLeRoy, Inc, Double P Grading, CW Matthews, Georgia Highway Contractors Association, Georgia Utility Contractors Association, Helix Group, Goodman Grading, Pike County Public Works Department, Pike County Chamber of Commerce and Georgia Department of Education.

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