Heavy Metal Rocks Returns
Prince George, B.C. – Thirty-two students from the Prince George School District have been getting some hands-on experience this week in the construction industry at the Pittman Asphalt Gravel Pit off Foothills Boulevard.
The annual Heavy Metal Rocks program gives interested students the chance to safely operate heavy machinery under the mentorship of experienced operators.
Mike Waite, safety coordinator, says 50 kids applied for the program this year and says those who are selected get to operate everything on site – from Cats and loaders to excavators and cranes.
“It’s a good way to give them some experience and we teach them how to get into the trades and the things they have to do to get there.”
He says they’ve been tracking students once they finish the program in recent years and says they’ve found about 80 per cent of them are now working in related fields.
In fact, Waite says some have done so well they’ve landed jobs immediately after finishing the program.
“We’ve had students that have been picked up right from the pit. They’ve operated well enough and the companies give them a job.”
Six participants this year are female, including Addi Bissett, a Grade 11 student at Kelly Road Secondary School who hopes to one day either operate heavy duty equipment or repair it.
“I love this program. It’s a great opportunity for people to come and experience different things.”
“It’s pretty good,” adds Kyle Simpson, a Grade 12 student at Duchess Park Secondary. “Really nice instructors, I’m learning lots about the machines and what I’d like to do when I’m older and get out of high school.”