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現在位置: Wall Paper Project Fumbaro Eastern Japan Our Projects Heavy Equipment License

Heavy Equipment License

In the "Heavy Equipment License Project", the second  cohort of students began the course in December in Iwanuma, Miyagi prefecture. Currently, we are supporting the tuition and licensing fees for over a hundred students.

1. Project Overview


- The second heavy equipment course is taking place at Caterpillar Tohoku Co. Miyagi Driving Center

Project Fumbaro Eastern Japan ( Representative: Takeo Saijo, Tokyo) launched the " Heavy Equipment License for The Tsunami Survivors! Project" last May. Through the project, we support their efforts to obtain licenses to operate heavy equipment such as hydraulic shovels and bulldozers.  This enables the survivors to gain stable incomes from the emerging reconstruction  jobs such as cleaning rubble or redevelopment of the affected area.


The heavy equipment license can be earned in a course that takes several days and it is relatively inexpensive (few hundred dollars).  It is particularly effective, because it can contribute to the survivors' financial independence by letting them pursue local jobs more easily as new license holders.

$300 can disappear quickly if used for living expenses. If, however, it's invested in a license to work on the inevitable reconstruction jobs in the affected area, it's possible to turn this into an annual salary of $30K. This project has layers of benefit. First, it can "empower" the survivors by assisting them to become financially independent, so that they can start their new lives while contributing directly to rebuilding their home towns. It can also stimulate the local economy by supporting the participating local companies which provide the courses.

The first term of the Project was held at Rikuzentakata, Iwate prefecture, from May to September 2011. 121 people received their licenses, and it was a great success. For the second term of the Project, we are sponsoring the full amount of tuition fees for more than 100 students. Thanks to the full cooperation of Caterpillar Tohoku Co. Driving Center Miyagi in Iwanuma, Miyagi,  the course began on December 1st.

We are planning to open the third term of the Project as soon as enough donations are received. Many people are seeking a heavy equipment license, which is required to lease heavy equipment and to apply for jobs at construction companies. We appreciate your warm support which opens new work opportunities for the Tsunami survivors.

We appreciate your support of the Project, which helps lead people in affected area to a better tomorrow.


2. What we do in the project

1)  Full sponsorship of tuition fee (up to 50,000 yen* per person)

*50,000 yen is currently about $400 USD

2) Providing courses

  • Skill training course for heavy equipment operation (grading)
  • Skill training course for heavy equipment operation (demolition)
  • Skill training course for the operation of rough terrain vehicles
  • Skill training course for forklift operation
  • Skill training course for aerial work platform operation
  • Skill training course for small mobile crane operation
  • Skill training course for crane slinging

- Other options are available

3) Enrollment limit: 100

4) Eligibility: Holders of a disaster victim certificate


3. Report on visit to the Caterpillar Tohoku Co. Miyagi driving center


On December 11th (Sunday), we visited Caterpillar Tohoku Co. which is holding the the second term of the project. The company's driving school buildings were destroyed, as was their heavy equipment vehicles. The director of the school had lost his home as well.  The enrolled students are struggling to move forward even though their homes were devastated. Please watch this video. The director's mother managed to survive in the assisted living facility where many of the elderly residents died. He had been about to give up hope for her life.

The first interviewee is a strawberry farmer in Watari town. He lost everything including his house. However, his main concern was his grandchildren who were washed away in the bus. "When I finally was able to see them after their bodies were found, they were muddy all over, which made me feel desperately sorry for them," he recalls. He had wanted to give up farming, but his son persuaded him to start over together. That was why he came to take the licensing course.

Many, many more people in the affected area sorely need assistance to obtain a heavy equipment license, in order to restart their family business, or to find new jobs. We are grateful for your understanding and support for this project which will help lead the Tsunami survivors to a better future.