JACKSON – The Ocean County Vocational Technical students studying Heavy Equipment Operations and Auto Diesel Repair were able to experience the equipment in-person with unique hands-on learning.
Eosso Brothers Paving, who are based in Farmingdale, brought over equipment to the Jackson campus and gave a world-class training presentation. A total of 10 pieces of heavy equipment were brought for the students to interact with, which included an excavator, backhoe, dozer, dump truck, milling machine, paver, roller and a road grader.
The Heavy Equipment Operation Program (HEOP) at OCVTS allows students to learn about and master the operations of several types of heavy equipment being used in industry today via a highly complex system of state-of-the-art simulators.
Thomas Eosso, CEO of Eosso Brothers Paving, explained how he knew that college wasn’t for him. With his background in construction, he decided to sign up for a Cooperative Industrial Education program. After joining the US Army being a combat engineer, he and his brother Gary Eosso decided to start Eosso Brothers Paving.
“When we heard about the (HEOP) program at OCVTS we immediately wanted to be part of the program and assist in any way we could. We understand more than anyone that it takes a lot of practice and training to be a proficient operator in the construction industry. These days, it is extremely hard to give an entry level employee proper training on a construction site due to the fast-paced production. Most kids coming out of high school come to construction companies looking for a job and the first position offered is a laborer,” Thomas Eosso said.
“Unfortunately, not everyone has what it takes to be in this industry and many lose interest quickly. Many young adults are opting out of the construction trades these days and equipment operators are becoming hard to find,” he said. “We believe that it is very important to learn from the ground up when starting in the construction industry. Equipment operators can start between $20 an hour to over $40 an hour depending on experience. The (HEOP) program will give students an opportunity that can accelerate young students into starting as an operator.
“Many construction companies are aggressively looking for young construction talent,” he said. “We are so excited that we were able to donate a 10-ton asphalt roller and a skid steer machine to the program. This will assist the students in getting time behind the wheel and help them better understand the operating equipment.
“New equipment today is state of the art and packed with the most amazing technology. It is like playing a video game,” he said. “Many older operators are struggling with the technology – and this is where the young generation comes in. The younger generation adapts fast to technology. The new machinery can basically operate itself with onboard computers and laser leveling.”
“The training demonstration arranged by Eosso Brothers Paving, Joseph Moore, Heavy Equipment Operator Instructor and Gary MacDonald, Director of Curriculum and Grants provided our students with a glimpse of potential employment opportunities while advocating for the technical skills and credentials necessary for success in the field of Heavy Equipment Operations,” OCVTS Superintendent Karen Homiek said. “Eosso Brothers Paving sits on our Advisory Committee and is one of the prominent industry partners for the Heavy Equipment Operating Program. Every program at OCVTS has an Advisory Committee that identifies the current emerging demands of the industry. With the shortage of skilled workers in the construction industry, OCVTS continues to guide our students into a career path or puts them on track through apprentice programs, community or 4-year college pathways. This presentation displayed the most up-to-date technological equipment in the field of construction. At OCVTS, we bring industry and education together and level resources to support our quality programs. The expressions on our students’ faces as they experienced the advanced machinery brought excitement to all attendees of the event.”
Joseph Moore, OCVTS’ HEOP Instructor commented, “The whole exhibition surpassed my expectations. The HEOP students’ enthusiasm reflected their appreciation of today’s presentation. This experience helped students to envision their futures as heavy equipment operators. The student’s hands-on introduction to the different types of equipment and operation and interactions with Eosso employees was an invaluable source of learning.”
For more information about OCVTS’ world-class programs for high school students and adults visit ocvts.org.