HHHS students Arcy Smith, Gavin Bramel, Jade Zachary, Brendan Mosbaugh, Drew Monnin, and Cole Amos recently completed a two-day course to earn their Level 1 Skid Steer Certification. Day one was safety and maintenance education in the classroom followed by a day of hands-on equipment operations in the school’s Sandbox.
Skid steers are versatile machines that are used in a range of settings for tasks like digging, demolition, landscaping, and excavation to name a few. “I am very proud of these students who completed their Level 1 Caterpillar Skid Steer certification,” said Eric Fisher, Project Lead the Way – CEA Master Teacher and NCCER Instructor. “Industry recognized certifications are important for students to achieve and demonstrate to potential employers the skills they have accomplished while in high school. It does require an investment of time, knowledge, and actual experience to learn to operate this type of equipment.”
“Our CTE program is designed to give students valuable certifications and hands-on experience to better position them to enter the construction workforce in a high-wage career after graduating from high school, continued Fisher. “Today, more than ever, there is a need for skilled tradesmen and women. There are incredible options in the construction trades to earn high wages and benefits that make careers in the construction trades highly desirable as a career path. We are committed to growing our Career and Technical Education program and providing opportunities for students to gain real-world experience that helps develop the next generation of skilled workers, entrepreneurs, and community leaders.”
Andrew Monnin, a senior in Heights’ CTE program, said the best part of the class was definitely the opportunity to operate the skid steer. “The actual seat time on the equipment provided valuable experience that will make us much more employable and beneficial employees,” he explained. “I learned how to use a skid steer to grade which was something that I didn’t realize could be performed on a skid steer.”
“Earning this Caterpillar skid steer certification is very special to me,” Monnin continued. “It represents a comprehensive knowledge of the proper operation and maintenance of this piece of equipment, a unique skill that very few my age have.”
A special thank you is extended to Ridge Inman MacAllister/CAT instructor, who administered the day-long course and helped supervise the hands-on portion that took place in the Sandbox. Hamilton Heights’ partnership with companies like MacAllister/CAT provides opportunities for its students to gain real-world experience in heavy equipment operation that prepares them for life and careers in the construction industry beyond high school.