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HEAVY EQUIPMENT COLLEGE OF OKLAHOMA
Heavy Equipment College of Oklahoma is a private education and training facility specializing in construction craft training and work force management. The school delivers classroom and field training for heavy equipment and mobile crane operators – both novice and experienced. Its clients include individuals, contractors, and government entities. The school offers three levels of training in heavy equipment operations, and it is an approved testing site for the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators.
Veterans make up a large portion of the student population. People with military experience have the technical proficiency to pick up the training easily. They also have experience working in some of the harshest climates in the world – making this career path almost natural for a lot of them.
The school’s motto is “Get Trained, Get Certified, Get the Job,” and its three-week training programs are designed to get students working quickly in the civilian market. The staff is made up primarily of veterans, most of who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, so they understand the transition process.
A VETERAN SUCCESS | JOSHUA ANTHONY
Joshua Anthony was in the United States Army for 10 years before separating as a sergeant. He is now a career services advisor at Heavy Equipment College of Oklahoma. He helps students and graduates develop their job-searching and interviewing skills in preparation for employment.
“My training and time in the military were crucial in landing my first civilian job – especially my time as an Army recruiter learning how to engage, network, and sell,” he said. “The biggest thing is to learn how to transition your experience to civilian language, and that's something I teach our students here at Heavy Equipment College of Oklahoma. We have a huge veteran presence and are involved with a number of veterans’ organizations and groups; and being able to help and guide veterans on taking the next step in their careers is very fulfilling.”
He encourages veterans to take advantage of the benefits they earned in the military. “The post-9/11 benefits aren't just for a traditional college,” he said. “They can be used to gain certifications and training for in-demand occupations. Take advantage of those benefits, and do the research in your market to see what jobs are in demand. There is a skills gap in the U.S., and I think our veterans can fill that gap with some additional training on top of their military experience.”