A Gila Community College class is being offered in Pine, thanks to collaborative efforts from the college, county and towns of Payson and Pine, Dean Harry Swanson said.
The six-credit class, Heavy Equipment Operations I, is being offered at Pine-Strawberry Elementary School Wednesdays from 6 to 9 p.m., Swanson said. The class also meets Saturdays for hands-on labs.
The class began last week and follows the same academic calendar as the rest of the classes taught at Gila Community College.
First-time instructor, Jerry Farr, construction project manager of Gila County, is teaching the class.
"It was through the efforts of many different people to make this lab possible," Farr said.
The class requires appropriate prerequisites and the passage of a drug test.
There are currently 15 students enrolled in the class, Swanson said. The maximum number of seats in the class is 20.
"Most of the people in the class are from Pine or Strawberry," Farr said. "The Pine Elementary School was a big help and suggested having the class there."
The class will mostly focus on entry-level equipment operations such as safety, equipment maintenance and the operation of big machines such as loaders and graders, Farr said.
The class meetings on Saturdays provide students with the opportunity to use equipment.
Saturday labs will most likely to be held at the Buckhead Mesa Landfill pit, Farr said.
Swanson said, the second semester class, Heavy Equipment Operations II, might be offered in the fall semester of 2007.