Midlands Technical College launches first mobile HEO program, receives support from Truist

July 21, 2023

Thought Leader contribution provided by Mike Brenan, South Carolina Regional President, Truist Bank

Since its inception in 1961, the South Carolina Technical College System has had a singular goal – to make the Palmetto State a beacon of workforce development by allowing individuals to learn and bring their talents to bear. For the past 60 years that has been happening, and on a recent afternoon at the Midlands Technical College Airport Campus, state leaders highlighted the newest way we are showing the world that South Carolina is prepared to train citizens to become successful employees.

Earlier this year, MTC announced the creation of South Carolina’s first mobile heavy equipment operator (HEO) training program. The first class started this spring. This new HEO program is groundbreaking for several reasons. First, the mobility of the equipment means students and businesses can benefit from customized, on-site, and hands-on training in a simulated worksite environment. Next, the program was created in direct response to high industry demand for skilled operators and it provides comprehensive training on backhoes, bulldozers, excavators, and motor graders. Finally, it is made possible by a $700,000 gift to the Midlands Technical College Foundation.

Truist Financial Corporation’s community reinvestment department and Truist Foundation made the significant contribution because of their commitment to supporting economic mobility and Truist’s purpose of inspiring and building better lives and communities. Truist applauds South Carolina for understanding that technical education is a key to those goals and this new program illustrates our shared commitment. With the investment, Truist and the Truist Foundation are upholding their values while allowing MTC to transform tomorrows and set up students on paths to desirable work and careers.

However, the genius of this new program is not just about the funding of the equipment, facilities, and instructors. People who are interested in heavy equipment operating jobs can go to school with little, if any, out-of-pocket costs. This is thanks to the QuickJobs scholarships program. In just a few months, classes are complete and an operator can be on the job earning a median salary of $48,000 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The next time you are stuck in traffic around the Columbia malfunction-junction highway project or you find yourself checking out progress on the Scout Motors manufacturing facility in Blythewood, think of those men and women operating the big yellow pieces of equipment. They are critical in making our daily commutes easier and in building a better economy for generations who are yet to come. And, it is all happening because of the thoughtful leadership of generations who came along before us and set up the South Carolina Technical College System in the first place.