Flathead Valley Community College expects the number of students involved in the school's Heavy Equipment Operator Program to double thanks to a grant from the Montana Department of Commerce.
The two-semester program gives students a Certificate of Applied Sciences in Heavy Equipment Operation as well as a Class A Commercial Drivers License.
Students work with the machinery once a week as well as learn about it in a classroom setting.
"The students are excited, the instructors are excited, so I'm excited for them,” said Pete Wade, the Director of Career and Technical Education at FVCC. “It's more of an opportunity for them. They can get some training on some somewhat different pieces of equipment or larger pieces of equipment than we currently have available. That's a benefit for them when they go out job hunting."