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Clay shoot raises funds for heavy equipment operator training

Staff Report //January 27, 2020//

Clay shoot raises funds for heavy equipment operator training

Staff Report //January 27, 2020//

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Last fall Vulcan Materials Co. spearheaded efforts to raise more than $66,000 to support Tri-County Technical College’s heavy equipment operator training program.

Vulcan, in conjunction with 50 industry partners across the state, raised $66,561 at its second annual South Carolina Clay Shoot at the Clinton House Plantation.

Prompted by a need to secure employees with a specific skill set, Vulcan Materials organized the first clay shoot fundraiser in 2018 to raise money to purchase equipment for the college.

The inaugural event raised $47,000, and those proceeds were used to match the college’s capital expense funds to obtain a $235,705 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission to launch the training program.

The national credential-based training is meeting the critical workforce needs in road construction, commercial construction, mining and transportation companies in Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties, the release said.

“The goal of Tri-County’s heavy equipment operator program is to serve as a talent pipeline for the construction and mining industries that are facing the loss of a large population of skilled operators who are preparing to retire in the next several years,” Mike Sanders, transportation program manager for Tri-County’s Corporate and Community Education Division, said in the release. 

“Graduates of our program can begin to train for these jobs in all facets of the construction and mining industries.  This is the first step in a career pathway that, over time, can lead to a lucrative lifetime profession,” added Sanders.

 “With just an eight-week training commitment, these individuals will be qualified for in-demand, entry-level jobs,” said Rick Cothran, college dean, in the release.

 “There is not another Heavy Equipment Operator training program in the Upstate,” Cothran said in the release. “Tri-County’s program will give individuals the basic skills so they can understand and learn to safely operate heavy equipment.”