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Heavy Equipment Operator Grad Shows Off for Employer

In September, Cleveland Community College received an email from a recent graduate of the Heavy Equipment Operator Academy. John Doctor wanted to tell his former instructors about his experience while interviewing with a construction company and how the HEO program gave him the skills and confidence to impress his soon-to-be employers. Here’s what he wrote:

Today, I had a job interview with Wayne Brothers Construction Company. They wanted to test me out on the equipment that I was trained on in the HEO Academy at Cleveland Community College. Going into it I was a little apprehensive. They seemed very serious and direct with what they were looking for. Though some of the equipment was a different brand from those we trained on, it seemed that everything came back to me in full circle. Every task they asked me to do, I completed exceptionally. Every obstacle they wanted me to cross, I completed exceptionally.

John Doctor is the sixth man from the left, leaning on the tire with his arms crossed. He graduated from the Summer 2023 HEO Academy.

The employer was surprised by how multifaceted I was on the equipment and very interested in how I became so familiar with the equipment. I was asked several times about my experience and all I could say was HEO Academy. By the end of the day, they literally asked me how much I wanted to get paid and what I was looking for. I felt like I did a great job representing the HEO program and the program did a great job training me. As I shook the hands of the foreman and his assistant all I kept saying in my head is, “I showed out today.” My confidence was high, and my nerves were low. I just moved methodically and precisely. I believe it showed.

Once I left the interview, I immediately called my instructor, Mr. Thomas Williams and thanked him for a job well done. I never touched a piece of equipment in my life. Now I am on a construction site with seasoned trained operators, and I feel like I impressed them. All they said was “you ain’t green,” that meant a lot to me. In the South, that’s major talk for good job.

Just wanted to thank the instructors and the college for giving me this new skill. Now, I have something I can add to my skillset and provide a living for my family. Thank You, Cleveland Community College Heavy Equipment Operator Academy.

To learn more about the Heavy Equipment Operator Academy visit