Johnson College Announces New Program – Heavy Equipment Technology

Scranton, PA – April 21, 2020 — Dr. Katie Leonard, President & CEO and Bill Burke, Vice President of Student and Academic Affairs announced Johnson College’s newest program, Heavy Equipment Technology at a virtual press conference held today.

The two-year associate degree program prepares students to enter the workforce as well-trained, mechanically minded, hard-working technicians with heavy equipment dealers and earth moving construction contractors. Graduates will possess the skills necessary to safely and correctly repair equipment used in the Heavy Equipment Industry. Instruction involves classroom theory, live shop demonstrations, and repair of heavy equipment currently used in industry. Making repairs on actual equipment is vital to skill development.

Employers seeking trained technicians include heavy equipment dealers, earth moving construction contractors, and mining and logging companies. Technicians will work in service shops and as field service technicians and will travel to the job sites to perform repairs.

The paramount part of this program is the experience that the students will receive in field at established facilities during their time at Johnson College. Five Star Equipment is the first lab partnership in the Heavy Equipment Technology program.

“Five Star Equipment is honored to be the first lab site for this program. We are just one example of the many companies throughout Northeastern PA that require skilled heavy equipment service technicians to properly support their customers,” said Patricia O’Brien, Five Star Equipment’s Director of Marketing. “The annual job growth for this position is five percent nationally, but projected to be nine percent in Pennsylvania, which translates to nearly 500 more jobs each year.”

Dr. Katie Leonard, President & CEO is excited to share the news. She said, “Heavy Equipment Technology is another way that Johnson College has responded to filling a skills gap in our region. Because, as we know, not every open position requires a four-year degree. This is another way that we can provide essential workers to the essential businesses in our community.”

While there is no clear direction yet for how the Covid-19 pandemic will affect many industries like construction and transportation long-term, Dr. Leonard noted that many companies that employ heavy equipment technicians like Five Star Equipment are designated as an essential business supporting customers who are also essential businesses. This designation should give confidence to adults of all ages who are looking for secure employment opportunities to consider heavy equipment technology as a career choice with a bright future.

Five Star Equipment is a John Deere Construction and Forestry equipment dealer serving 57 counties in PA and NY. Its corporate headquarters are located in Dunmore. For additional information about Five Star Equipment, visit:

Johnson College provides real-world, hands-on learning in a caring environment and prepares graduates to enter into or advance in their careers. Johnson College was founded in 1912, and is the region’s premier technical college, offering associate degrees in 14 programs. An emphasis on hands-on instruction is supported by a low student-to-teacher ratio. Located in Scranton on a 44-acre campus, Johnson is an accredited, private, non-profit, co-educational institution with a strong tradition of working with regional business and industry to ensure a skilled and qualified workforce. For additional information on Johnson College, please call 1-800-2-WE-WORK, email, or visit

To watch a recording of the announcement, please click here.