New JTED program available to area high school students

Sahuarita, AZ— Pima Joint Technical Education District (JTED) is slated to launch a cutting edge Heavy Equipment Operator training program in fall of 2016 for high school juniors and seniors. The new program grew from a collaborative effort of educators, town of Sahuarita, businesses, JTED, Pima Community College and the University of Arizona. The collaborative worked with construction industry representatives to verify their needs and develop the program accordingly.

The heavy-equipment operations program will be offered twice a week at Walden Grove and twice a week in a Tucson-area high school if the minimum course enrollment threshold is met.

Students who enroll in the program will earn 15.5 Pima Community College credits, two employment certifications, and three high school credits. A partnership with the Tinaja Hills Caterpillar Demonstration and Learning Center and the University of Arizona’s San Xavier training mine will allow students to train on several different pieces of equipment and get practical, hands-on experience.

Students will be taught safety requirements for job sites with emphasis on OSHA, MSHA, and NIOSH requirements. Students will learn operational techniques for heavy equipment such as utility tractors, backhoes, and other heavy earthmoving machinery. Completion of the program is a step towards beginning a career in a growing field with considerable earning potential.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities in heavy equipment operations are expected to grow by 10% over the next eight years nationally and 28% in the state of Arizona. Members from industry report Heavy Equipment Operators are in high demand, and can earn between $25 to $38 dollars per hour.

Students should speak with their high school counselor or they may enroll online at  To enroll online, go to and click on the enrollment link under the Student Services tab. In order to be placed in a class or put on a waiting list, students must submit copies of:

1.Birth certificate

2.Current immunization records

3.Proof of AZ residence (document showing the parent/ guardian name & address)

4.Additional documents required by specific programs

Enrollment applications will be accepted until classes are full or too far underway for students to join.