July 2008 - The Nevada School of Construction (NSOC) hosted an NCCCO Practical Examiner Accreditation Workshop, March 6-8, as part of NCCCO's ConExpo activities in Las Vegas, NV. The Las Vegas mobile crane workshop included 15 candidates that were first time student examiners, as well as refresher and re-accreditation examiners.
Mike Martens, Director of Operations for the National Association of Heavy Equipment Training Schools (NAHETS), spearheaded the hosting of the workshop. As a member of NAHETS, the Nevada School of Construction has been instrumental in providing new crane and heavy equipment operators in the Las Vegas and surrounding southwest region for the past five years.
The school has seen a change in equipment and curriculum during the five years, in part based on heavy construction personnel requirements evidenced in the Las Vegas skyline. Jeff Belknap, Director of Curriculum, noted that a new tower crane curriculum will be launched once plans for the installation of a Comedil CT 602 tower crane at the site were completed.
NSOC sponsored the NCCCO Workshop, providing the training location and cranes for the three-day workshop. NSOC also made the same facilities and cranes available for two days during ConExpo to allow candidates to take their CCO practical exams while attending the exhibition.
Nevada is one of fifteen states that require either operator certification or licensing of crane operators. "NCCCO certification is a natural progression for crane operator students following the NSOC graduation," said Belknap, who reminds his students that CCO certification is akin to the process of becoming a lawyer. “When the schooling is finished, you still have to pass the bar exam to practice law," he says.
Between eight and ten students receive crane operator training each period, according to Belknap. “NSOC has doubled that training cycle to include a heavy emphasis on crane and operator safety."