CWD offers three-week hands-on courses in heavy equipment operation

By on September 23, 2012

Heavy equipment teacher Jim Slocum (right) teaches his students Dan Lawless (center) and Anton Polidori (left) in the “land lab” at Brongo Contracting and Supply. The Center for Workforce Development offers two courses, 72 hours each, in heavy equipment operation. There is a fee for the course.Nick Caldarelli said that he always found heavy equipment, like backhoes, bulldozers, and dump trucks, interesting and wanted to learn more. He enrolled in the three-week Heavy Equipment Operation course through the Center for Workforce Development and recently graduated with the skills needed to safely operate all types of heavy equipment. “It’s a good program,” he said. “You get a lot of seat time and learn how to work on job sites.”

The course is available in two parts and each runs Monday through Thursday. The morning session is from 7 a.m. to noon and is taught by Jim Slocum and an afternoon session is from noon to 5 p.m. taught by Matt Loiacona. The first course covers safety and operating techniques and the second provides more hands-on time as well as OSHA 10 and forklift training. There is a fee for the course.

“We work in the classroom first, learning basic safety and theory, then move on to the land lab,” said Jim Slocum, who has been teaching the course for five years. The land lab is located at Brongo Contracting and Supply on Manitou Road where students have the equipment and land on which to practice. “The students can move the machines around, dig trenches, do rough grading, and more complex projects,” said Slocum.

Students are treated like employees and must be on time for class. “We evaluate them on their ability to work alone, with others, and to problem solve,” added Slocum. Outside of class, he works with students on writing their resumes and finding job leads.

“The knowledge of the instructor makes the difference in this course,” said student Anton Polidori. “Every time he talks he’s offering you a new tip on how to succeed in this profession.”

For course information: 585-349-9100,