Holmes to offer new Heavy Civil Construction Program in Goodman

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*Story by Mary Margaret Busby.

A new workforce training program in the construction industry is set to debut at Holmes Community College in July 2024. The Heavy Civil Construction Program is a 10-week, non-degree program that begins July 29 on Bulldog Ranch in Goodman.

The program was developed in close partnership with AccelerateMS, Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Mississippi, Mississippi Construction Education Foundation (MCEF), Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Mississippi Road Builders Association. Based on data collected through various means, including information from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security’s (MDES) occupational employment projections, Holmes determined that highway construction is a growing industry and workers are in high demand.

“Stakeholders in the Holmes district formed a unique collaborative, and through extensive research, designed this program to train and place civil and highway construction workers,” said Holmes Workforce Development Coordinator Melissa Love. “We could not be more excited to fulfill this need and bring this program to fruition; not just for the betterment of our college and district areas, but for our state.”

Participants in the Heavy Civil Construction Program will complete approximately 300 clock hours, and after successful completion of the training each trainee will obtain the following certifications: Class B license, ATSSA Flagger, OSHA-10, OSHA-30, OSHA Fall Protection, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation/ Automated External Defibrillator and Dig Safe Certification. Students will learn a variety of construction-related skills, with job-preparedness as the main goal. All program applicants are required to pass a drug test, pass a Department of Transportation physical, have a high school diploma or GED certificate and be at least 18 years of age.

The course will utilize both simulators and heavy equipment to teach students how to operate heavy equipment. Participants will receive instruction on how to use a variety of tools, equipment and skills to perform tasks such as paving, excavating, bridge building, grading, concrete, striping, sign installation and more. They will come out of the program knowledgeable about construction equipment, construction/work-zone safety, different types of soils, site work, rigging practices, excavation math, interpreting civil drawings, basic principles of cranes, project management and money management, as well.

“We look forward to helping the participants in this program prepare for a rewarding career in highway construction,” Love said. “Research has shown that highway construction workers can earn competitive pay, advance in their career as they gain experience and tend to have high job satisfaction as they are able to see the results of their labor.”

On-site orientation for the new program is tentatively set for July 25.

“As Executive Director of the Department of Transportation, I commend Holmes Community College for having the vision to launch a civil construction program that reflects an investment into not only the transportation field, but the state of Mississippi,” said MDOT Executive Director Brad White. “I look forward to seeing this program enrich education, elevate our infrastructure, and foster innovation that will ultimately improve our communities for future generations.”

For more information on Holmes’ new Heavy Civil Construction program and/or to fill out an interest form, please visit https://holmescc.edu/workforce/heavy-civil-construction-program/. For further questions, contact Melissa Love at [email protected] or call 601-605-3387.

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