GARRETT (WANE) — 33 Garrett High School Students completed their training and received official certificates on Friday that now lets them operate heavy machinery. The program was a dual-enrollment plan with Ivy Tech.

The instructor, Zachary Caenepeel, says the students now have the upper hand on others as they enter into the workforce.

“This is just a great opportunity for these kids to be able to graduate from here with a whole slew of entry level skills they’re going to carry with them directly into the industry and make them even more valuable than their peers when they start,” Caenepeel said.

Caenepeel added that he believes there’s a stigma on going into the trades rather than going to college and he’d like to see that change. He said the students at Garrett will be able to make serious money right out of high school in an industry he says is desperate for workers.

The type of program is only offered at one other high school in the state of Indiana. Caenepeel said Ivy Tech is hoping to bring this type of partnership to other high schools.