A local organization specializing in training workers for the skilled trades has been given the green light to add a large expansion to their facility.

Operating Engineers Local 324 received site plan approval for a 17,500 square foot addition to their existing 13,400 square foot building Tuesday night from the Howell Township Planning Commission. The expansion will be used for additional classroom space. Operating Engineers trains workers for careers as heavy equipment operators and technicians, H-VAC technicians, facility engineering, and more. Along with the building, the site plan called for roughly 100 more parking spaces to accommodate trainees, and landscaping shielding and screening to protect residents. The lighting plan was also reviewed to show that that light will be diminished to appropriate levels by the time it reaches the property lines.

Howell Township Planning Commission Chairman Andrew Sloan spoke of Operating Engineers being a valuable member of the community, saying that the work they do benefits not only Howell Township and Livingston County, but all of southeast Michigan. Sloan said that with building and construction picking up again after the recession, they are helping fill a need in the construction trades.

The Planning Commission approved the site plan unanimously with minor conditions to be met as requested by township engineers and the fire marshal. (MK)