ACT 1By L.J. Zielke, President of Allied Career Training As with all craft areas, proper training is critical in heavy equipment operation. Aside from the obvious safety issues, heavy equipment operators are responsible for running and maintaining highly complex machines that cost tens of thousands of dollars, leaving very little margin for error. As an NCCER Accredited Training Sponsor, Allied Career Training (ACT) offers intensive training for heavy equipment operators on our 20-acre site in Dothan, Alabama. We provide students with a combination of classroom instruction and experience operating various types of equipment, including backhoes, bulldozers, excavators, wheel loaders, forklifts, compactors and motor graders. Students move directly from a classroom lecture out the door into the yard where they apply what they just learned. Part of our mission is to develop a sustainable workforce. While our graduates are prepared to start work as entry-level heavy equipment operators, we help them solidify their careers by offering extensive job placement assistance. ACT’s job placement staff is in constant contact with employers, seeking out companies that are currently hiring as well as those that will be hiring in the near future. ACT then works to find a graduate who would be the best fit for the position. ACT’s job placement efforts are just as beneficial to employers as they are to our students. We look at job placement as a two-way street: It’s a service not only for trainees, but also employers. With a job placement rate of 71 percent, it’s clear that ACT is effectively serving students and employers alike. The efficacy of ACT’s training program goes even deeper than that. For example, I recently received a phone call from the mother of an ACT graduate in his early 20s who had just been hired and was earning more than $30 an hour. She explained that her son was the first one in the family to get any postsecondary education and how much this meant to her. She was in tears thanking me and kept saying that it was too good to be true and how the new job had changed both his life and the family’s. When I hear stuff like that, I know we’re doing the right thing. NCCER 1505 Spring Summer-coverFor the rest of the story, read ACT's Sponsor Spotlight article in the Spring/Summer 2015 issue of NCCER’s Cornerstone magazine.

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NCCER develops standardized construction and maintenance curricula and assessments with portable credentials. These credentials are tracked through NCCER’s National Registry which allows organizations and companies to track the qualifications of their craft professionals and/or check the qualifications of possible new hires. The National Registry also assists craft professionals by maintaining their records in a secure database.