Additional Funding for HEO Program AnnouncedSeptember 28, 2020
Earlier this month, Southeast College issued its initial funding announcement of $100,000 from the Government of Saskatchewan, Estevan MLA Lori Carr and the Provincial Transition Funding Committee for Economic Development for its new Heavy Equipment Operator (HEO) program. An additional announcement came this past Friday on behalf of the Government of Canada’s Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) program. $800,000 was pledged to Southeast College to assist with the establishment of the HEO program slated for Estevan, SK.
President and CEO of Southeast College, Patrick Stoddart provided this update “Our project team has been working diligently for the past few months on a number of outcomes related to the establishment of our Heavy Equipment Operator program including curriculum development, identification and sourcing of capital equipment, development of a comprehensive marketing and recruitment plan and the initial identification of potential program partners. We are very excited to welcome our first cohort of students for Spring 2021 and we look forward to providing quality future employees to assist in supporting the local economy in southeast Saskatchewan for many years to come.”
Heavy Equipment Operators work in construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, pipelines and buildings, as well as in mining, manufacturing, construction and materials handling work. Annual estimates for wages vary from $41,600 to $79,040. Forecasted job openings for 2019-2023 sits at 540 with many more on the horizon. (Relevance Magazine, 2020 – Saskatchewan Industry Education Council)
The development of this program and acquisition of training equipment could lead to enhancement of current programs such as the Heavy Equipment and Truck and Transport Technician in addition to the potential exploration of geothermal technologies and installation as well as other alternative energy sources.
Initial student recruitment for the program will commence October 1st. Students interested in placing their name on the interest list for the inaugural program can do so by emailing HEO@southeastcollege.org