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Heavy Equipment Operator graduates celebrate


heo gradHeavy Equipment Operator students are celebrating their graduation today. Congratulations to all of the Frost Campus graduates!

In the 12-week Heavy Equipment Operator program, students learn about the operation and preventative maintenance of heavy construction equipment. Students use bulldozers, rubber-tired loaders, tractor loader backhoes, hydraulic excavators, rock trucks and other construction site equipment.

Cassandra Shawanda said she took the Heavy Equipment Operator course because of her father. “My dad took the course and said it was good. It was always interesting – big machines – to me,” she said. “The program was really good and the teachers were awesome. The guys in the program were really helpful and they would assist me if I didn’t know something.”

Cassandra was joined by her family, who travelled from Manitoulin Island to celebrate her program completion. Cassandra’s cousin said he’ll be the next one in the family to attend Fleming’s Heavy Equipment Operator program.

Jason Gilpin was first introduced to the HEO program as a Dual Credit student at Bear Creek Secondary School in Barrie. “The equipment sold me on this program. I grew up on a farm and always liked heavy equipment,” said Jason. “When I came here as a Dual Credit student, they had recommended I come back.”

A few years later, Jason returned to Frost Campus and is now graduating. Jason describes the program as awesome and well worth it. He now has a job lined up and starts Monday in Cambridge.

Rick Stevens came to Fleming College after working in the field. “I had my AZ License for Transport and got a job in a goldmine. I decided I wanted to take Heavy Equipment because I wanted to operate more machinery, and that’s what the goldmine was looking for,” said Rick. “The program helped prepare me. The goldmine was really big on safety and this course really teaches that. I really enjoyed it, the teachers are awesome and I do really like the aspect of it being safe. I was happy with it.”

Rick has a new job lined up in a mine in Baffin Island, which starts in September. Rick said he would recommend this Fleming College program to others, adding, “I wrote to the Chief and Council at Nipissing First Nation to say that if anyone in interested in Heavy Equipment, this would be the one to come to.”