Harford Community College announces first heavy equipment graduating class from Harford's Leading Edge Training Center

Aug. 30—Harford Community College announced that the spring 2022 heavy equipment operations (HEO) class was the first HEO class to come through Harford's Leading Edge Training Center.

The students will celebrate with guests at the inaugural ceremony of completion and celebration for those completing other workforce programs at Harford's Leading Edge Training Center, powered by the Ratcliffe Foundation, on Wednesday.

"The first class to complete Harford's Leading Edge Training Center's heavy equipment operations course was a mix of recent high school grads, returning citizens, displaced workers and more," said Monique Stiemke, career navigator for workforce development at the center. "The students were very enthusiastic and dedicated in their certification training, and all but one also took the Leading Edge Training Center's forklift certification training. I am so proud of this group."

The HEO program, which is a series of four classes meeting twice a week, ran for six months from January 18 through June 30. The classes included instruction on state-of-the-art heavy equipment simulators and actual trade equipment, classroom instruction and related field trips.

The program concluded with a round-robin style interview event that resulted in all the students receiving job offers from local businesses. The next heavy equipment operations program begins Sept. 13 and runs through April 13, 2023.

Harford's Leading Edge Training Center is located at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford & Cecil Counties, Edgewood Center. The programs are coordinated by the workforce and community education division of Harford Community College.

Rural Maryland Council, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford & Cecil Counties, and the Small Business Development Center make education and training accessible to residents and businesses in Harford County's Route 40 corridor.

Harford's Leading Edge Training Center, powered by the Ratcliffe Foundation, helps residents gain knowledge, skills and abilities to secure careers and earn head-of-household wages which will enhance the quality of life for residents in southeastern Harford County and throughout the region. The center includes:

— fabrication lab for additive manufacturing;

— simulation and lab space for trade skills;

— collaboration room for innovation;

— training space for workforce development;

— maker space, entrepreneurship and business acceleration programming.

Students learn new skills and are eligible to receive scholarships, stipends and tool allowances. Programs include:

— Heavy Equipment Operations

— Basic Machine Manufacturing Technology

— Forklift Certification Training

— Warehousing, Supply Chain and Logistics.

For more information about programs offered at the training center, contact Monique Stiemke, career navigator at mstiemkes@harford.edu or 410-322-5639.