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BC now offers heavy-equipment-training program

Bakersfield College held the grand opening for its Mechanical Agriculture program, where students will be trained on heavy equipment like those pictured. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

Bakersfield College held a grand opening Wednesday for its new Mechanized Agriculture program, which focuses on training students to work on heavy equipment.

The Mech Ag program will offer nine courses, including Agriculture Safety, Farm Power Operation and Hydraulics.

Heavy equipment technicians require training that had not been offered at BC previously.

“I’ve grown up in Kern County my whole life, so I know that the drilling slows down, the production slows down, the welding, electricians and stuff like that, but there’s always equipment running,” student Raul Herrera said.

The program was developed to address a local need by dealerships, rental yards and farmers, among others. Industry advisors include local community partners such as Bolthouse Farms, Quinn Caterpillar and Berchtold Equipment Co.

“The Mech Ag program is a prime example of training students for high-demand, high-wage jobs and having a positive impact in the workforce of the future,” Tony Cordova, director of Career Technical Education at BC, said.

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