Shamonique “Shammie” Crawford, a native of St. Tammany Parish, LA, is the oldest of 4 sisters. She grew up in the Slidell area and attended Pearl River High School. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Shammie found full-time employment with CSRS, Inc. She was assigned to an enhanced cleaning contract at Northshore Technical Community College, where she first heard about the Heavy Equipment Operator (HEO) training program.
Shammie says her supervisor, NTCC Facilities Director, Rocky Bork, was very supportive and encouraged her to enroll in the program. Shammie soon found herself attending class all day, 3 days a week, while continuing her job with CSRS, Inc., two days a week. She managed to keep up with the fast pace and graduated with NCCER and OSHA certifications on September 2, 2022.
HEO Instructor Donald Gholar describes Shammie – the only woman in the class – as hard-working and attentive. “She’s been a great student, and as time goes on, she going to learn more and more,” said Gholar. “Any time individuals want to better themselves as she has, I’m there for them as an instructor. I’ve told her she can call me any time, and I’ll help her.”
The rigorous HEO training took students from the basics of safety and proper terminology to daily maintenance of the equipment to actually getting behind the controls of many commonly used pieces of equipment. Now that she has completed the HEO program, Shammie has started training to attain her Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), which will open doors to many more career opportunities. “I’ve learned I can do anything I put my mind to, and I can commit to anything. I’m going to take every opportunity for higher learning.” This proud single parent of four young children says, “Children don’t stop me from doing anything. They’re my encouragement to do better and stay focused. Completing this program and looking forward to starting a career didn’t just change my life, it changed their lives, too.
Shammie is thankful to NTCC’s Lacombe Campus Dean, Mrs. Owen Smith, and Welding Instructor Misty Hellmers for encouraging her to enroll in the HEO training program. She’s applied for work with a local municipality, which will give her the opportunity to advance her career while being home with her children every night.