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BRIEFS: PHCC gets Caterpillar simulators; deadline for renaming feedback

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Mitchell Dunford, a student in Patrick Henry CC’s General Engineering Technology program, tries out the new heavy-equipment simulator.

PHCC gets new simulators

Patrick Henry Community College recently received two new heavy equipment Caterpillar Simulators and a Caterpillar Trailer to open a heavy equipment operator program on Jan. 19.

These state-of-the-art simulators, purchased with assistance from the Higher Education Equipment Trust Fund, feature rotating motion platforms and offer a 3-D virtual reality experience that replicates real-life operating scenarios, the school said in a release.

PHCC plans to use a hybrid of online classwork and in-person training on the simulator to teach students basic operational techniques, the basics of earthmoving, and how to interpret civil drawings.

The program requires four months of training, and the school said area employers are advertising starting salaries of $18–28 per hour for full-time heavy equipment operators. Employers such as Prillaman & Pace and Henry County Public Service Authority have guaranteed job interviews to anyone who successfully completes the new program, PHCC said.

Tuition is $4,500, but funding sources are available that may cover up to 100% of tuition, the school said. Students who enroll in this program before Dec. 11 automatically will be entered into a drawing for gifts.

For more information contact or call 276-656-0260.

Deadline for feedback

Monday is the deadline to offer comments to PHCC’s board about its plan announced recently about changes for the school’s name, its mascot and facilities on campus. The board is required to provide recommendations to the

State Board of Virginia’s Community Colleges about the appropriateness of those names.

Committees recommended adding a hyphen to the school’s name – Patrick-Henry – to reinforce that the school is named for the two counties it serves, not Patrick Henry the man; to phase the Patriots sports mascot as a symbol; and to rename three facilities on campus because the name no longer reflects the programming in those rooms.

To comment send an email to or leave a voicemail at 276-299-0640.

Griffith’s staff visits area

The staff of U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Salem) has scheduled traveling office hours for November that include a stop in Stuart.

A representative of Griffith’s will be at the conference room at the Patrick County Administration Building, 106 Rucker St., between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday.

For questions, call 276-525-1405.

Road projects

Martinsville road crews are milling and paving Indian Trail from Spruce Street to Prospect Hill Drive. Indian trail remains open to traffic. If you have any questions about this project, email or call 276-403-5159.

Spot paving is underway at various locations on Route 57 in Henry County. Flagging operations will be in place. This project is expected to be completed by Nov. 20.

Installation continues for two emergency pipe replacements on U.S. 220 Business, at three hundredths of a mile north Speedway Road and on U.S. 58/220 at Greensboro Road and William F. Stone Highway. Drivers can expect lane closures at both locations. The completion date is scheduled for the end of 2020.

Utility work in the westbound lane of U.S. 58 between Poplar Drive and Animal Clinic Road in Patrick County will be performed on the shoulder on Dec. 1-11. Traffic may experience delays.

Paving is underway on both lanes of Route 661 between mile markers 5 and 10 in Patrick County. There will be lanes closed and flag operations in the work zone. The expected completion is Nov. 20.



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