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How do you drive a tractor? MCPSS students learned how

Mobile County Public Schools students got behind the wheel to operate tractors, excavators, forklifts, zero-turn lawnmowers and more at the Green Industry Equipment Rodeo at Bryant Career-Technical Center on Thursday.

“It was a little scary at first, but I really enjoyed it, and it got really fun at the end,” said Bryant High School student Cindy Pena, who operated a skid steer loader for her first time. She used the bucket at the front of the machine to scoop up and move red dirt.

“This is something I’m really interested in, and I know a lot of my classmates are as well,” she said. “I’m really grateful they gave us this opportunity.

Bryant Career-Technical Center provides hands-on skill instruction, related academics, and opportunities for Mobile County Public Schools students to earn state and national certifications as they prepare for career success.

Bryant hosted Thursday’s rodeo with support from the Alabama Nursery & Landscape Association, JBT Power, SunSouth, Beard Equipment, the Mobile County office of the Alabama Extension Office, Auburn University – Ornamental Station in Mobile, Big Creek Nursery, Oak Hill Tree Farm, Alabama Community College ACCS Innovation Center, Flowerwood Nursery, and Esfeller Construction.

Bryant CTC Teacher Jamie Walter said students learned about safety before being invited to operate the machinery. The experience they gained Thursday will help them as they apply for jobs.

“People want to hire people who have experience, and it’s hard to have experience if no one’s ever given you that shot,” Walter said. “With something like this, they’re gaining some actual real-world experience while they’re still in high school so they can leave high school and already be employable.”


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