During World War II, Rough and Ready Island was a naval base and the central communications point for all of the armed services. As of 2004, the Port of Stockton took over most of the area and designated it as a redevelopment area. Today, Rough and Ready is also a commercial port that ships raw materials throughout the world. As of two weeks ago, the island is adding something new to its history.
On July 16, 2007, The Northern California College of Construction (NCCC) opened its doors in Stockton, CA…on Rough and Ready Island.
The NCCC was started to fill the needs and demands of qualified and certified heavy equipment operators not only in northern California, but everywhere in the country. Jeff Dorricott, the president and director of the college, said that “Our focus here at Northern California College of Construction is to equip our students with a solid foundation to become successful as Heavy Equipment and Crane operators. We have built an educational environment specifically aimed at providing technology with hands-on learning practices. We are here because we are passionate about what we do and that is what will set our students down the path of success.”
The opening ceremonies were a success at Rough and Ready Island. The NCCC had 17 students begin training on the opening day-a 100% show-rate. Dorricott sees this as evidence for the demand of heavy equipment operators in the area.
The NCCC is one of five member schools of The National Association of Heavy Equipment Training Schools (www.nahets.com). Individually and collectively, these schools serve a significant demographic that is essential to the heavy equipment and construction industries, as well as society at-large.
President of NAHETS, Matt Klabacka, believes that this demographic includes “Post-secondary students [that] can be defined in five separate categories: the traditional college-bound student, the semi-traditional college-bound student, the non-traditional college-bound student, the non college-bound student, and the high school dropout.” Klabacka feels that the current educational community is not meeting the needs of these people. He further stated that “the training of welders, truck drivers, crane operators, and equipment operators have been lacking in recent years, leading to a shortage of well-trained professionals.”
The Northern California College of Construction aims to serve the needs of these students by supplying industries with a qualified, motivated, and skilled entry-level equipment operator. The means to accomplish these goals hinge on curriculum and standards. At the NCCC, as well as all NAHETS member schools, several learning methods combine to create a most effective education in heavy equipment operating: classroom instruction, simulation training, hands-on operating, internet tools, and more. In addition, each member school or college must meet the following credentials:
*Full time campus director or college president
* Full time on site campus job placement director
* Full time on site campus financial aid director
* Full time on site campus admissions director
* Full time on site Heavy equipment training director
* Full time Certified heavy equipment training instructors
* 20 acre minimum heavy equipment training area
* 3-4 classrooms dedicated to training heavy equipment operators
* No other business conducted at training site
* Clean administrative facilities.
With the addition of the Northern California College of Construction to the heavy equipment industry, dreams and goals will be realized for those who aspire to become accomplished heavy equipment operators; and the nation-wide demand of construction companies to employ these operators will further be satisfied.