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Mar 10, 2023 -- Midlands Technical College (MTC) and Truist announced a new training program to help change the landscape of workforce development in South Carolina. Funded by $700,000 from Truist Foundation and Truist Financial Corporation's community reinvestment department, the Heavy Equipment Operator (HEO) program will offer two mobile simulator units, and the program will start enrolling students for on-campus training courses in late spring.

The new Heavy Equipment Operator program is a one-of-a-kind program for residents in the Midlands,” said MTC President Dr. Ronald Rhames. “The program is the first one to be made possible by the community partner, it’s the first one to have specific types of simulators, and it’s the first one that’s able to travel and therefore allow MTC to bring the training directly to the locations of underserved communities.”

The Heavy Equipment Operator will be added to the list of programs eligible for a QuickJob scholarship, which provides funding to fully cover the cost of the program for individuals interested in pursuing the training. There will be a special QuickJobs Scholarship Session at the Airport Campus Thursday, March 23. Individuals can learn about the scholarship opportunity and check out the simulators during the session.

“This gift to the MTC Foundation is especially valuable in meeting workforce needs for key infrastructure projects because it addresses a critical skills gap in South Carolina,” said Nancy McKinney, CEO of the Midlands Technical College Foundation. “We are excited about the opportunity to train operators in a high-demand career that offers a family-supporting wage.”

The funding allowed MTC to purchase two simulators that teach students how to operate four types of heavy equipment: backhoes, bulldozers, excavators, and motor graders. In addition to courses offered on the Airport Campus, the program will offer customized, on-site, corporate training options.

“Students will learn from experienced professors who have worked on heavy, industrial equipment. And, they will become graduates who will enter the workforce with the competitive advantage having received their certificate using state-of-the-art tools at Midlands Technical College,” said Rhames.

Registration is open now to attend the Heavy Equipment Operator Scholarship Information Session. For more information about the Heavy Equipment Operator program, visit MTC’s Advanced Manufacturing and Skilled Trades webpage.

Courtesy of Alexia Greene,