Grads Finish Nunez Heavy Equipment Program with 14 Industry Certifications

Heavy Equipment Program Graduates

Five graduates completed Nunez Community College’s first Heavy Equipment course Dec. 21 on the Nunez campus. Each graduate earned 14 industry certifications. Pictured from left are course instructor Dennis DiLorenzo of STC Inc., course instructor James Beebe of STC Inc., graduates Benjamin Thrower of Chalmette, Roy Ragan Jr. of Violet, Rosalind Powell of Pearl River, Troydell Miller of Chalmette, Kendall Hills of Violet, Nunez Associate Vice Chancellor for Education, Training and Student Success Lenny Unbehagen, Venture Global Senior Manager of Training Charlie Burt, and Nunez Workforce Director Brian Gibson.

Five graduates walked away with 14 industry certifications apiece after just eight weeks in Nunez Community College’s Heavy Equipment program.

The first cohort of Nunez’s new Heavy Equipment program celebrated its completion Dec. 21 in the Kane Building on the Nunez campus in Chalmette. Course instructor Dennis DiLorenzo of STC Inc., summed up the graduates’ newly earned employability in just a couple of short sentences.

“These are nationally recognized certifications. So when you show up to an interview, you have a lot to offer,” he told the graduates. “A lot of people on a construction site have nowhere near the amount of certifications.”

Each graduate who completed the 8-week course received the following certifications:

  • NCCER – Core Construction Skills
  • NCCER – Heavy Equipment Level 1
  • OSHA 10 – Construction
  • MSHA – New Miner
  • American Heart Association – CPR/First Aid/AED
  • Aerial Manlift – Scissor Lift
  • Basic Rigging
  • 8-Hour Confined Space Entry
  • Fall Protection
  • Field Safety Orientation Training
  • Forklift Operation – Straight Mast and Extended (2)
  • Incipient Firefighting – Fire Safety (2)
  • Trenching & Excavation

Invited speaker Charlie Burt, senior manager of training for Venture Global LNG, told the graduates that their efforts to improve their versatility on a construction site are “the steps that people are looking for.” Venture Global is in the early stages of constructing its Plaquemines LNG terminal in Plaquemines Parish. The LNG exporter also recently completed its eighth cohort of the Will To Skill community investment program with Nunez, which provides free, industry-based training and certification to Plaquemines Parish residents.

“Without Nunez, our program would not have the success we have today,” said Burt of the Will To Skill investment.

The graduates included:

  • Kendall Hills of Violet
  • Troydell Miller of Chalmette
  • Rosalind Powell of Pearl River
  • Roy Ragan Jr. of Violet
  • Benjamin Thrower of Chalmette

Hills, Miller and Ragan are currently employed with the St. Bernard Parish Government, which sponsored their participation in the Heavy Equipment course. 

Also in attendance for the graduation ceremony were instructors James Beebe of STC Inc., Nunez Workforce Director Brian Gibson and Nunez Associate Vice Chancellor for Education, Training and Student Success Lenny Unbehagen.

Nunez is gearing up to offer its next Heavy Equipment course in February. For more details contact Brian Gibson at

About Nunez Community College     
Nunez Community College is a student-centered institution that delivers relevant and innovative curriculum integrating the arts, sciences, and humanities leading to academic credentials and workforce opportunities. Nunez serves a vital role in the community by engaging with partners to support student success and personal growth. Nunez Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees, certificates, and diplomas. Nunez is located at 3710 Paris Road, Chalmette, LA. For more information, visit