Equipped with his New York Giants hard hat, Rick Reid leads the Heavy Equipment class at Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES.

"Pretty much stays the same. We’re kind of limited to 20 students," Reid said. "I usually start out with 20 every year. I have a couple drop off that might go into other programs here. Typically welding is one that, they kind of work hand-in-hand. A lot of our kids that can’t get into welding come to heavy equipment or vice versa."

His students spend time cleaning and operating machinery. Marion Proctor is a senior at Poland Central School and a student in this Heavy Equipment class. She’s grateful for the bonds she’s made.

What You Need To Know

  • November is National Career Development Month

  • HFHO BOCES students have the opportunity to learn about different industries

  • Interest in the Heavy Equipment program has been steady, according to the class’s teacher

"I grew up with brothers, so it’s like adding another 17 brothers," she said.

Jobs are hiring. That’s not a bad thing for Proctor and other students.

"Yeah, it’s good for me because there’s a lot of opportunities in our field," Marion said.

"Many of them do have the ambition to go on and either own their own company or work in the heavy equipment field. It’s probably the biggest class I’ve had yet of kids who want to work in the industry," Reid said.

This program provides students with opportunities to earn certifications, and has partnerships with local employers in this field.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of construction equipment operators is expected to grow 5% from 2020 to 2030.