Blue Ridge Community College highlights career programs at the Rockingham County Fair

Published: Aug. 19, 2022 at 6:55 PM EDT
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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - Throughout the week at the Rockingham County Fair, Blue Ridge Community College has given people the chance to use simulations to highlight three of its career programs.

The simulations include welding, excavator operating, and driving a tractor-trailer. The goal is to attract more people to the programs and help fill jobs around the area.

“We’re just trying to bring attention to the excavation world and trucking with these simulators. We let kids and everybody in the community get on them and see how realistic they are, and it’s a wonderful training tool,” said Marcus Sanders, Heavy Equipment Operator Instructor at BRCC.

The Heavy Equipment Operator Program at BRCC is still relatively new, so the fair has given the college to perfect opportunity to get the word out.

“My favorite part has just been meeting all the wonderful people in the community. We’ve got a lot of great people out here. It has just been a great way to communicate with everyone and talk about our programs at Blue Ridge,” said Sanders.

BRCC has partnered with several companies around the Valley to help students of all three programs get jobs quickly. It also highlighted women in those particular areas of the workforce on Friday.

BRCC’s heavy equipment operator program last four weeks with training from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Sanders said that students learn construction math, hand, and power tool safety, and study diesel engines in and out.

Students also use the simulators for training before later working with the real equipment on site with potential employers.

Sanders said that the program also has financial benefits for anyone interested.

“With the financial aid available six out of my seven students have gotten everything completely free and were paid $1,000 to take the course so it’s definitely worth working into,” he said.