First Veterans in VICTOR Program Announced

Mon February 21, 2022

The first recipients of the VICTOR program were announced recently by the NCCCO Foundation and Heavy Equipment Colleges of America (HEC).

The Veteran In Crane Training Outstanding Recognition (or V.I.C.T.O.R.) award is presented to the top-performing veteran in each HEC training class for NCCCO mobile crane operator certification. HEC runs training classes for veterans both at Fort Irwin Army Base in California and at Joint Base Lewis-McChord location in Washington State.

The four awardees who graduated top of their class are: David Carter and Gabriel Hope (Fort Irwin) and John Bleignier and William Hare (Joint Base Lewis-McChord). Each receives a $100 gift card, a YETI tumbler and a Certificate of Achievement plaque.

While receipt of the VICTOR award surprised most awardees, all felt gratified to be so recognized.

"Receiving this award encouraged me to pursue my education and further my career in this industry," said Carter, while Hope set a goal of getting a crane operating job "so that I can make a career out of it and become a proficient outstanding operator."

All testified to the quality of instruction they received at HEC and stated their appreciation for the focus on safety and the attention to detail provided by the instructors.

"A central component of the NCCCO Foundation's mission is to facilitate access by veterans to the construction industry," said NCCCO Foundation CEO Graham Brent, "particularly in the crane and rigging sector. The V.I.C.T.O.R. program is a small but significant step in that direction."

"HEC is proud to help veterans and civilians to find rewarding careers in the construction industry," said HECA CEO Bob Albano, "and the V.I.C.T.O.R. program serves to reward excellence among our veteran students."

About the V.I.C.T.O.R. Award

The VICTOR Award Program was unveiled at the NCCCO Foundation's sixth annual industry forum on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2021. Eligible participants must be a veteran and have completed the HEC Mobile Crane Training Program. Awards are issued in accordance with the program completion timeline.

About HEC

The Heavy Equipment Colleges of America (HEC) is a private educational and training school specializing in entry level training on mobile earthmoving and lifting equipment at four locations around the country. Programs are designed to teach students the basic fundamentals of equipment operation and to gain experience of immediate value to employers.

For more information, visit and