South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department

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Graduates share knowledge

Front row, left to right: Former clients Justin Smith, Melanie Miller and Terry Manus are employed by Sloan Construction in the Upstate. Back row: Ryan Skinner, VR Business Development Specialist and Jay Weisner, Center Manager and OSHA 10 Trainer.

Justin Smith, Melanie Miller and Terry Manus, graduates of the first Heavy Equipment Operator (HEO) class at the Bryant Center, and who now work for Sloan Construction, recently spoke to the current HEO class. They shared their experiences and gave examples of how they have applied what they learned in class to their new jobs with Sloan.

Bryan Getsinger, client, trains on the Heavy Equipment Simulator.

A leader in SC heavy highway and bridge construction, Sloan Construction partnered with VR to create and implement customized training for potential candidates. During the three-week course, candidates receive classroom instruction using the National Center for Construction Education and Research curriculum; soft skills training based on Sloan’s needs, such as emphasizing no cell phone use; OSHA 10 certification; and one week learning on a Heavy Equipment Simulator.

Left to right: Clients Darnell Carter and Jason Allgood; Tom McAbee, ACE/JPI; clients Paul Christoffersen and Terry Bradley; former clients Justin Smith and Terry Manus; clients Shawn Rose and Bryan Getsinger. Seated: Melanie Miller, former VR client; Jennie Thomas, Area Administrator.

Candidates who successfully complete the HEO training are guaranteed an interview with Sloan Construction. Out of first class of nine candidates, seven successfully completed the the training and received interviews, a five were hired into positions that include paving/grading crew, steel wheel roller operator, and quality control roadway technician.