From left to right:  (Terry Young, Alamo Academies)  (Shane Brownlow, RDO Equipment)  (Troy Kettell, Alamo Academies)   (Raul Villarreal, Martin Marietta Materials)  (Ray Moreno, City of San Antonio)  (Kyle Smith, ASCO Equipment)   (Chris Sawyer, ROMCO Equipment)  (Mitchell LeMaster, HoltCat)

From left to right: Terry Young-Alamo Academies, Shane Brownlow-RDO Equipment, Troy Kettell-Alamo Academies, Raul Villarreal-Martin Marietta Materials, Ray Moreno-City of San Antonio, Kyle Smith-ASCO Equipment, Chris Sawyer-ROMCO Equipment, and Mitchell LeMaster-HoltCat


Starting this fall, Alamo Academies will offer its fifth program, the Heavy Equipment Academy. The program is geared toward giving the next generation of the construction industry a jumpstart.  HOLT CAT, ASCO, ROMCO, RDO, Zachry Construction, Dean Word Co., Martin Marietta, Closner, and other heavy equipment dealers and construction businesses initiated this coalition with the Alamo Academies after the Heavy Equipment Industry Consortium meeting hosted by HOLT CAT last September. This new program will provide a tuition-free college track for high school juniors and seniors to earn industry certificates that will open opportunities for careers as technicians and to further their college educations. The Heavy Equipment Academy will award two Level I Certificates of Completion aligned to the Diesel/Construction Equipment Technology Associate of Applied Science degree, which will meet the job market needs of the local heavy equipment industry. “One of the biggest problems for heavy equipment dealers and their customers is a shortage of qualified technicians,” said Peter John Holt, general service manager at HOLT CAT. “This new track at Alamo Academies will help supply our industry with a steady stream of technicians equipped with the skills required for entry level jobs at good wages and benefits.” Gene Bowman, executive director of Alamo Academies, explains that the skilled-labor shortage is precisely what this track is meant to address, and the companies seeking the skilled employees support the model by providing the paid internships for the junior and senior high school students. “They agree to help develop the curriculum, help be there in an advisory role to make sure that what we’re producing is what they need,” said Bowman. “They go do an 8-week, 40-hour-a-week paid industry partnership internship with these industry partners that are part of this cluster, part of this consortium. That is the academy. It is a college grade.” Jim Perschbach, chairman of the Alamo Area Academies board, stated, “The success we have had in developing skilled employees for aerospace, manufacturing, IT and health will now be extended to a fifth academy to meet the demand for heavy equipment technicians. Area high school students now have a new option for college credit, internships and industry certificates that will prepare them for good paying, high demand jobs.” –mp