Two Local Women Find Career Advancement Through Fann Contracting’s Apprenticeship Program for Heavy Equipment Operators

By Tara Fort • Photos by Trisha Shaffer

For Britney Kirkeeng and Heather Tanner, the opportunity provided by Fann Contracting to join its Apprenticeship Training Program has proven nothing but successful. The two women are currently enrolled in the Heavy Equipment Operator Apprenticeship Program while juggling life, family, work, and personal interests.

Fully sanctioned by the Arizona Department of Labor, the program is based upon a minimum 3-year, 6,000-hour field training schedule, including 615 hours for home study and 200 classroom hours. Open to both women and men, candidates pay nothing to apply, and the program trainees are paid a competitive hourly wage once accepted.

Britney, who recently finished her Yavapai College courses to obtain a Class A CDL, was eight months into her employment at Fann Contracting when she was asked to join the program.

She said, “What interested me the most was the opportunity to learn about various pieces of equipment and gain knowledge in a field where I was fairly new.”

Heather said, “I took interest in Fann when I started looking into a heavy equipment career. They had the best reputation in the community, so I decided to apply.”

After acceptance into the program, each apprentice chooses a first-, second-, and third-year specialty of equipment; then, in addition to those three pieces of equipment, also takes 250 hours of training for every other piece of equipment. When they complete the program, both women will possess a nationally recognized certification, comparable to an associate degree.

Britney said she was initially hesitant to enter a program that required extensive classes, some late nights, and an occasional out-of-town trip, but said, “I decided to go for it because the growth from the program would ultimately benefit my family.”

Heather said, “I didn’t have any experience when I entered the apprenticeship program, so I thought it could be a fun, challenging career with room to grow and learn.”

Britney said she remembers going to work with her father, who ran a loader with EZ Transmix when that company had a base operation in Prescott. She rode around with him in the loader when she was younger. She added, “My dad used to play softball with Mike Fann, and I used to walk his golden retriever, Murphy.”

Both women find balance by playing with their pets, maintaining time with family, and being out in nature to unwind. Heather added, “In my spare time, I also like to ride dirt bikes to unwind, and sleep. I like to sleep in on the weekends!”

In addition to the Apprenticeship Training Program for Heavy Equipment Operator, Fann also offers a program for Heavy Equipment Repair (Mechanic). Any piece of equipment can offer a specialty program such as Motor Grader, Excavator, or Dozer to name a few.

For more information about the Fann Contracting Apprenticeship Program, visit