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Heavy Equipment Operations & Maintenance

Become part of an industry that continually shapes and changes our physical environment. Imagine operating a piece of heavy equipment working with a crew to build a roadway, lay pipe for your city, or demolish a building to make way for something new. Gain the knowledge and skills to become that operator by attending the Heavy Equipment Operation and Maintenance Program.

Train under knowledgeable faculty to operate dozers, excavators, motor graders, loaders, skid steer, backhoes, haul trucks and more in our 360 acre operation’s site better known as the “sandbox”. Learn by working hands on how to maintain and repair heavy equipment in our up-to-date shop facility. This unique four semester program accepts new students to begin training in June, August and December. Employment opportunities exist nationwide in various areas of the construction industry including highway construction, underground utilities, pipelines and oil fields, mining, flood control, demolition, mining, logging and with state and local governments.

Instructors
Mike Kuklok
I entered the construction industry as a laborer for an underground tunneling contractor which allowed me to experience various types of tunneling projects ranging from pipe jacking to auger boring. As work in the tunneling industry declined I transitioned to a bottom man position on a sewer and water crew and later to the top man position. I was then given the opportunity to become an equipment operator at which time I joined the IUOE Local 49. Traveling to various states operating numerous types of equipment on projects ranging from underground utility installation to grading projects and site development have given me a well-rounded background in the construction industry.
Email Mike for more information
Andy Anderson
As a graduate of the Heavy Equipment Program I take great pride in passing on my life experience in the trade to tomorrow’s generation of men and women in the trades. I am a proud member of IUOE Local 49 and have a wide variety of field experience including: logging operations, grading and paving, site work, demolition and crane operation as well as a brief stint for one season on the Alberta Clipper pipeline project. In addition to operations, I have done consulting work throughout North America on safe and efficient heavy equipment operations. Thanks to my diploma from CLC, I had the honor of serving as Training Director for IUOE Local for two years in early 2000. I like to add a bit of humor to the training so on that note “I look forward to seeing you in the dirt!”.
Email Andy for more information
Gordy Vierkant
Gordy was raised on a dairy and hog farm in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota. He graduated from the Staples Vocational Technical Institute (currently Central Lakes College) in the Heavy Equipment Program in 1975. He worked in Wyoming, Colorado and Minnesota in mining and road construction for 22 years before becoming a heavy equipment instructor at CLC in 1996. Gordy is a certified Red Cross CPR/AED/First Aid instructor.
Email Gordy for more information
John Maleski
My interest in the construction trade developed when I was young as my father was a heavy equipment operator. I am a 1987 graduate of the Central Lakes College Diesel Equipment Program and am proud to come back to the college to instruct future operators and mechanics. After college I managed a truck shop and later worked for a sand & gravel pit as both an operator and mechanic. I continue to stay connected with the industry by working part time as an MSHA trainer and equipment operator. I enjoy working collectively with contractors to find students for our program and future operators for the industry. My experience allows me to instruct either operations or maintenance courses. I work closely with the students repairing the equipment to keep operations running.
Email John for more information
Corey Uhrich
Corey’s heavy construction career began in 1994 as an entry level equipment operator for Strata Corporation, a heavy/highway, aggregate production company established in 1910, located in Grand Forks, ND. The equipment operator position led to operating heavy equipment in earthwork, concrete, asphalt, underground, electrical, and landscaping operations. Corey was eventually promoted to Earthwork Superintendent with Strata Corporation and has performed on contracts up to $40 million. In 2008 Corey became an instructor with CLC’s Heavy equipment program continuing to operate heavy equipment part time for Strata Corporation. In May, 2011 Corey became unlimited full-time faculty with Central Lakes College. He is a certified OSHA construction outreach trainer, MNDOT aggregate production instructor, and Minnesota Department of Public Safety 3rd party CDL tester. He holds certifications for MNDOT Aggregate Production, Grading & Base I & II, Plan Reading, Erosion Control, Hazardous Materials Technician, and a current Class A CDL with doubles/triples, tanker, and hazardous material endorsements.
Email Corey for more information
Mike Sams
Student Testimonials
Justin
2013 Graduate from Annandale, MN
I am a nontraditional student who returned to college after nearly a twenty year break from school. The CLC Heavy Equipment Program is top notch with many pieces of equipment to train on and instructors that are second to none. The instructors bring many years of hands-on experience to the classroom and operations field or sandbox. I felt very much at home the day I walked in the door of the CLC West Campus as the college has a small town feel that makes you feel like family while attending. While on campus I became involved in the Heavy Equipment Club and Student Senate. This is a great program that will train you to be successful in the world of dirt work.
Josh
2013 Graduate from Paynesville, MN
I am a recent graduate of Central Lakes College. I have nothing but good things to say about the program! I started back in 2012 with absolutely no experience and came out with the confidence that I could succeed and thrive in my future career. In my opinion, it isn’t just setup for inexperienced beginners, but the course is laid out very well to encompass anyone wanting to even expand their skills in the heavy equipment trade. The classes in the program relate to many areas associated with heavy equipment giving you everything you need to know to carry a project through from the first blueprints to the final pass with the dozer. All of the instructors are experienced operators, so you’re getting real tips and knowledge that is actually used on the job. They also try their hardest to get you lined up for a successful job before you walk through those doors on graduation day. Once again, this is a great program!

Bureau of Labor Statistics

For more information regarding employment statistics, career salary information and estimated job growth, follow the resource links below:

https://apps.deed.state.mn.us/lmi/ces/
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/home.htm
http://www.iseek.org/jobs/jobmarket.html

Gainful Employment - Diploma