Tri-County Technical College’s Corporate and Community Education (CCE) Division launched its first Heavy Equipment Operator class since partnering with Blanchard Machinery, the exclusive Caterpillar dealer for South Carolina. The first students are set to complete the courses and enter the job market this month. Upon completion of the program students receive NCCER certification in Core Curriculum and Level 1 Heavy Equipment Operations, as well as a 10-hour certification in OSHA Construction Standards. The Heavy Equipment training program was developed to meet the need in the highway and heavy construction industry as workforce growth in the area of construction has been experiencing some improvement. Individuals completing the program will be able to serve multiple industry segments, such as industry construction, highway construction, general construction and complementary industries, such as aggregate mining and asphalt production. According to data from the U.S. Department of Labor, the outlook for jobs operating construction equipment is bright with 24 percent growth predicted during the 2010 – 2020 decade. The Heavy Equipment Operator class is an open enrollment class.