Continental Refining Company partners with SCC to fuel Heavy Equipment Operator Program | SCC


Continental Refining Company partners with SCC to fuel Heavy Equipment Operator Program

Published on May 16, 2024

crc sales coordinator poses with students and instructor of the heavy equipment operator program Somerset Community College (SCC) is pleased to announce an important partnership with Continental Refining Company (CRC) that has greatly benefited SCC’s Heavy Equipment Operator (HEO) program. Thanks to this collaboration, students in the HEO program will now have access to a 500-gallon fuel tank loaned by CRC to fuel the heavy machinery used in their training.

The Southern Tanks fuel tank, valued at $3,500, stands as a critical asset for the HEO program, ensuring students have ample fuel to operate bulldozers, mini excavators, skid steers, and backhoes during their training sessions. Located at SCC's new Valley Oak complex, the tank currently houses a bio-diesel blend procured from CRC. 

The UltraBurn F20 bio-diesel blend is locally produced in Somerset, KY, with soybeans sourced from nearby Kentucky farms. Notably, this biodiesel boasts a 79% reduction in carbon emissions compared to traditional diesel. SCC takes pride in its efforts to enhance the sustainability and environmental consciousness of the program.

Designed to EPE standards and constructed with concrete, this fuel tank exemplifies CRC's commitment to supporting local education and workforce development initiatives. The collaboration between SCC and CRC underscores the importance of community partnerships in addressing the growing demand for skilled heavy equipment operators in the region.

"We are immensely grateful to Continental Refining Company for their generous support of our HEO program," said Ben Fouts, Workforce Solutions Project Manager at SCC. "This fuel tank loan will provide our students with the necessary resources to gain hands-on experience and prepare them for rewarding careers in the heavy equipment industry."

Instructors Chris Carroll and Tim Hamilton played instrumental roles in facilitating the fuel tank loan, leveraging their expertise and connections within the local business community. The partnership between SCC, CRC, and local businesses like Tim Hamilton's excavator company exemplifies the collaborative spirit driving workforce development initiatives in the region.

"This partnership signifies a shared commitment to empowering students and equipping them with the skills needed to succeed in the heavy equipment industry," added Chris Carroll, HEO instructor at SCC. "We look forward to further collaborations with CRC and other local partners to continue providing exceptional training opportunities for our students."

CRC Sales Coordinator Trevor Herd remarked, "It's incredibly empowering to witness SCC spearheading a new initiative to educate young adults in an industry often overlooked despite its significant impact on everyday society. While many see the end result—buildings rising and developments taking shape—it's crucial to recognize that it all begins with excavation work!"

The Heavy Equipment Program at SCC is a 15-week training program where students learn to operate a bulldozer, mini excavator, skid steer and a backhoe. Students gain hands-on skills and expert training needed by heavy equipment operators for jobs in the construction and highway industries. 

According to regional heavy equipment operator employers, skilled employees have the potential to earn between $28 and $34 per hour after just one year, contingent upon their work ethic and attendance. 

For more information about SCC's Heavy Equipment Operator program, please contact Amber Craft at or visit