Jefferson County JVS Receives $50,000 Grant to Launch New Program | News, Sports, Jobs

The Jefferson County Joint Vocational School received a $50,000 grant to equip its new heavy equipment operator program.

The windfall through the Charles M. and Thelma M. Pugliese Charitable Foundation will provide a Vortex Edge Max Earth Moving simulator to train students and give them a realistic view of the job. Supervisor/assistant manager Andy Long requested the funding and said officials received the news in late May.

“The Vortex Max Edge Simulator provides real-world feedback through its chair, joysticks, pedals, steering wheel and 65-inch screen,” Long said. “The simulator comes loaded with an Earthmoving Pack that includes software for an excavator, wheel loader, backhoe, grader, bulldozer, and articulated dump truck. We are excited to be able to offer this opportunity to students across County Jefferson.”

The machine is manufactured by CM Labs Simulations Inc. but was purchased through Buckeye Educational Systems. Long said the simulator should be on site and fully operational when students return to school in August.

The school leaders also purchased a Takeuchi mini crawler loader and excavator through Columbus Equipment Co. and also own a dump truck that will be used for the program. Sixteen students are currently enrolled in the new program, and Long hopes it will only grow in the future.

“It will prepare students for success in the job market while helping fill the projected 46,000 heavy equipment operator positions in Ohio by 2030,” Long said. “These simulators will provide much-needed siege time to develop safe and accurate operational habits in a controlled environment, while reducing the risk of equipment damage and potential injury.

“The realistic feedback from state-of-the-art simulators can help bridge the gap between classroom theory and large equipment operations,” he added. “The realization potential of these simulators will allow employment agencies to hire qualified employees.”

Long said there are plans to seek funds for all school programs.

“We will apply for other available grants in order to continually improve our technical career programs and provide high quality learning environments for our students,” he said.

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Ryan H. Bowman