November 2016—More than 700 students and teachers from 10 area high schools attended another successful Lift & Move USA career event on November 2, hosted by Bragg Companies at its head office in Long Beach, California. The students were given a half-day introduction to career opportunities in the crane, rigging, and specialized transport industry by more than 20 Bragg employees plus representatives from Bigge Crane and Marco Transport.
Students were split into groups and led through nine different learning stations covering topics including engineering, safety, crane operation, SPMT operation and ironworkers. Cranes, self-propelled modular transporters, trucks, and other equipment were on display for the students to see close-up. Crane simulators were provided by Kiewit, IUOE, ITI and IMPACT.
Speakers ranged from young interns at Bragg to crane operators with more than 40 years of experience, all of whom shared their career paths with the students and explained what their jobs entailed. The message of the day was summed up by Christian Coronel, a young Bragg engineer, who told students, “Set your sights on what you want to do, and then stick with it. Learn the math. Read the books. Study. If you stay focused, you can find your dream job.”
The Long Beach event was the fourth in the Lift & Move USA program and the first to be held in California. Lift & Move USA is organized by the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA), KHL Group, and the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO), with host companies drawn from SC&RA members.
Scott Bragg, speaking at the close of the day, said the event had been a phenomenal experience for the Bragg team and that it served an important function. He explained, “We wanted the kids to understand that there is an opportunity to get a great career and an opportunity to work in a great industry. They were asking, ‘What’s the next step?’ They want to know what they have to do to get into the industry, and—among other things—this event showed how professional certifications, such as those offered by NCCCO, can provide the key to lucrative careers.”
Anetta Leone, Linked Learning Work Based Coordinator at the Long Beach Unified School District, noted that the day would have a big impact on the students; she said, “Linking theory with application helps them see the relevance for industry of what they are being taught at school. It will help them to be college- and work-ready. A major problem for our youth here is that there are not a lot of job opportunities for them. We need to expand their horizons about what is available. We thank Bragg Companies for allowing our kids to get a glimpse of what the opportunities are.” The school district sent 35 staff and teachers to accompany the students, so another benefit of the event was that it helped open the teachers’ eyes to the career opportunities for their students in the industry.
The event was also supported by one of California’s most senior political figures, Anthony Rendon, speaker of the California State Assembly, who began the day by telling students that the state needs enormous investment in its infrastructure over the coming decades and that companies in the crane and specialized transport sector will play an important part in that work.
The Lift & Move USA program will stage four more events in 2017, with the next slated for February 14, 2017, hosted by ALL Companies in Tampa, Florida. Lifting Gear Hire will host the another in Chicago on May 1, 2017. See www.liftandmoveUSA.com for details.
Brett Melvin, director of the Lift & Move USA program, paid tribute to the work that Bragg did in staging the event; “Bragg did a phenomenal job. The organization was great, and its staff were fantastic at engaging with the students and keeping them interested. We have been fortunate in the Lift & Move USA program to have had great host partners at all the events, and Bragg continued that. They did it right.”