FLEMINGTON, NJ – Hunterdon County Vocational School District (HCVSD) has named Hunterdon Horizons Excavating as its Business Partner of the Year.

Owner Sumner Siecke has been an invaluable asset to the district’s Heavy Equipment Operators Program (HEOP), which began in fall 2018.

Siecke has not only lent his expertise, but also his equipment, to ensure that this new Polytech program provides students with an educational experience that best prepares them for work in the field. The program is the first of its kind for New Jersey high school students and was developed to meet workforce demands.

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Siecke helped develop the program as a member of its advisory board and has remained involved, often consulting with HEOP instructor Richard Hubert and offering advice and training opportunities to students. Siecke has loaned equipment for students to use at Polytech’s Central Campus, where HEOP is held, including a backhoe, articulated end dump truck, utility tractor and asphalt roller. He also has welcomed students for field trips to his shop, where they could try out different equipment.

“Our HEOP students use specialty simulators for hands-on training, but they would not have the opportunity to run real equipment without the generosity of Mr. Siecke,” said Hubert. “His involvement has allowed us to develop an effective training program, using the real tools of this particular trade.”

In addition to hands-on training, Polytech’s HEOP also includes classroom instruction based on nationally recognized curricula, including blueprint reading, site preparation, job estimating, OSHA 10 certification and CDL training. As a member of the program’s advisory board, Siecke also gave input into the development of this curriculum.

“Mr. Siecke’s involvement with our district speaks to his commitment to his field, as well as his community,” said HCVSD Superintendent Dr. Todd Bonsall. “He is clearly committed to helping us educate and train skilled workers in heavy equipment operation, and he is even providing our students with opportunities for employment.”

Siecke offered a full-time position to Greg Sampson, who was among the first students to complete Polytech’s HEOP in June 2019. He also will sponsor Sampson as an apprentice at Hunterdon Horizons Excavating.

Hunterdon Horizons Excavating is located in Flemington and serves customers in Hunterdon, Warren, Somerset and Mercer counties with excavation work, septic tank installation, sewers, roads, foundations and other jobs.

Hunterdon County Polytech High School is the largest component of Hunterdon County Vocational School District (HCVSD). Polytech (polytech.hcvsd.org) is the district’s shared-time high school that prepares students for a seamless transition to college and career paths. HCVSD also operates an Adult & Continuing Education school and three science-based academies. Learn more at www.hcvsd.org.