June 19, 2015—The first Lift & Move USA careers event, held this week in Chicago, Illinois, has been deemed an overwhelming success by attendees and organizers. More than 140 delegates attended, including around 100 students and veterans.
The two day event—held in Chicago on June 16–17—showed students and veterans the enormous career opportunities in the cranes, rigging, and specialized transportation industry. The organizers were the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA), KHL Group, and the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO).
NCCCO contributed its expertise on the benefits of certification and how it can be the key to numerous job opportunities. NCCCO Chief Executive Officer, Graham Brent, outlined how professional training and certification can provide a viable alternative to traditional education paths while leading to lucrative careers. His presentation included the following highly compelling personal testimonial from industry veteran Bill Smith, NBIS Insurance Services:
“Professionally developed certification can play a key role in encouraging aspiring entrants to the workforce to view crane and rigging as a career,” said Brent. “NCCCO is pleased to help address the persistent skills shortage by promoting the professional and safety benefits employment in this industry can offer.”
Joel Oliva, NCCCO Director of Operations and Program Development, and John Skelly, KHL, co-emceed the event.
A multi-station, state-of-the-art crane and signalperson simulator was made available by leading U.S. contractor Kiewit Companies at the barbeque held for participants on the evening of June 16 at Imperial Crane Services’ yard.
Joel Dandrea, executive vice president of SC&RA, said, “We’re overwhelmed by the success and the support for this launch event. We’re thrilled with the participation, with the quality of presentations, and the questions and interactions. It was a huge success.”
Student and veteran attendees—the majority from Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin—included high school students and an enthusiastic group of young apprentices from the Local 150 chapter of the International Union of Operating Engineers.
Presentations included spectacular project reports from Berard Transport and Barnhart, plus testimonies from individuals about their own career paths, including from Danny Gomez of Lifting Gear Hire, Jennifer Gabel of JK Crane, Yannick Sel of ALE, Bob Kaleta of Imperial Crane Services, and Chad Rados and Brian Meek of the ALL Family of companies.
A perspective on careers in the manufacturing sector was given by Jamie Harthoorn of Terex Cranes and Blake Nommensen of Kobelco Cranes North America.
Trevor Pease, president of KHL Group Americas said the organizers were proud to have held the first event, “I speak for SC&RA, NCCCO, and KHL in saying that we hope that this will be the first of many Lift & Moves held around the country, helping to promote careers in this great industry.”
A feature of the event was the active participation of the students, with a winning prize of $500 and two $250 runners-up prizes for the best 30-second video about the event and the industry. The winner was David Kingly of Chicago, Illinois, and the two other winners were Mike Cole of Modena, Illinois, and John Jenkins from Round Lake, Illinois.
Associated Training Services (ATS) offered two $1000 vouchers for training on cranes and other equipment, one of which was won by Margarita Golliay, a student.