Board Approves Heavy Equipment Simulator for GICCA

Students at Golden Isles College & Career Academy will now have access to a career pathway in heavy equipment operations thanks to the Glynn County Board of Education's recent approval of the purchase of a heavy equipment simulator. The desktop model is capable of running programs for a skid steer and a hydraulic excavator, both of which are used in various industries that utilize mobile machinery.

The Heavy Equipment Operations Pathway is composed of three courses:
  • Industry Fundamentals and Occupational Safety: Prepares students for the basic knowledge to function safely on or around a construction site and in the industry in general.
  • Introduction to Heavy Equipment: Introduces students to the history and impact heavy equipment has had on construction and infrastructure projects, as well as terminology, operator responsibilities, career opportunities and applying basic principles of safety. Students will be introduced to and develop skills to prepare graded surfaces and execute basic earthmoving activities.
  • Operation of Heavy Equipment I: Builds on the concepts related to earthmoving as well as reading and using blueprints and specifications related to grading and grade calculations. The course provides specific knowledge and skills in operating and maintaining heavy equipment and includes exploration of the career opportunities and training available to heavy equipment operators.
The State Board of Education approved the new courses recommended by State School Superintendent Richard Woods in December 2021. Thanks to the approval of the heavy equipment simulator, which will be provided by Technical Training Aids for $31,645, the new pathway will ensure there’s another opportunity available at GICCA for students to gain skills to help them succeed in the future.

"I am very excited to be collaborating with our construction teacher, Mr, Jeff Holland, and our industry partners at Seaboard construction,” said GICCA Principal and CTAE Director, Dr. Joseph Depenhart. “Having this pathway at GICCA means a great deal to both the students and the local business community.”

Once implemented, this pathway will provide our students with valuable job skills that will translate directly to skills needed in local industries.
“We are very grateful to have the support of the Glynn County School board and local businesses such as Seaboard to help make this pathway a reality," Depenhart added.

The simulator will be housed at GICCA and used to both train students in heavy equipment operations and recruit students into the pathway.