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Beginning in September 2018, Questar III is pleased to offer high school students in Greene, Columbia and Rensselaer counties a new Career & Technical Education program in Heavy Equipment Operation and Maintenance. The program will be based at the former Durham Elementary school in Durham and will offer juniors and seniors the opportunity to learn how to operate, repair and maintain a variety of heavy construction equipment that would be found at any major job site.

Students who complete the program will be eligible to earn several industry certifications, including the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) Level 1 certification, Industrial Lift Truck Certification, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Safety Certification and Commercial Driver’s License (CDL-B). Additionally, the program will have articulation agreements with local colleges to allow students to earn college credits and give them a head start in pursuing a college degree.

Questar III District Superintendent Dr. Gladys I. Cruz says this program is a great opportunity for students and businesses in this region.

“We are pleased to offer a program to prepare students for careers in this rapidly growing and changing field, and we are grateful to all our partners for helping to make this a reality. It is our hope while this program will benefit students, it will also benefit businesses in our region, preparing a new pipeline of workers ready to support the construction industry,” said Cruz.

Cairo-Durham CSD Superintendent Anthony Taibi says the district is excited to partner with Questar III to offer this program in Greene County.

“This is a phenomenal opportunity for the district and the community for a multitude of reasons. This program is directly connected to employment opportunities within our community and region, and it can diversify the long-term career opportunities available to our students and those in surrounding districts.”

Taibi also says housing the program at the Durham School represents an important step toward attaining the district’s vision of bringing vital programming and enhanced curricular opportunities back to the Durham building.

While the initial launch of the program is open to students in Greene and Columbia counties, Questar III hopes to expand the program to a second site in Rensselaer County for the 2019-2020 school year.

Local heavy equipment operation and maintenance industries have been instrumental in the planning and design of this program. Questar III looks forward to continuing to work closely with these business partners to provide students with ongoing work-based learning opportunities.

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