Canada’s Small ‘Project Heavy Duty’ Helping Students in Big Ways

In the small city of Fort St. John, British Columbia, Canada Project Heavy Duty takes place every year during February and March. As hundreds of students find themselves graduated from high school they turn their eyes toward post-secondary education and careers; but some graduates remain unsure of the education and careers they will pursue. Project Heavy Duty helps students answer questions such as, “What am I going to do for the rest of my life….”

Project Heavy Duty is an annual exposure program that helps timid high school students gain confidence through heavy equipment operating. Each year a group of roughly 20 students train for a week with competent heavy equipment operators and contractors. They do things like plowing, excavating, and laying pipeline on an actual industrial site. The project has been running for seven years now and is a volunteer program.

One of the important things that this program does for students is not just learning how to operate heavy equipment, but as Organizer Richard Coupe said, many students confirm their career goals and others realize that their aspirations may be in another field altogether. Either way, Project Heavy Duty has been helping students for the last seven years to make one of the most important decisions of their lives–what to do with the rest of their lives.

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