Cultivating young talent is crucial for labour shortage

19 June 2018

Buchanan inset 1

Smack dab in Elkhart – the Indiana city that The Wall Street Journal recently claimed is the future of what the American economy looks like – Lift & Move USA participated in a successful career event with SC&RA members Buchanan Hauling & Rigging and Clover Machinery Movers.

As the U.S. economy rebounds, the present and future points to labor shortages, which is why SC&RA members are leveraging opportunities to reach potential employees in ways that may not have been explored before.

According to Lift & Move USA Director Tracy Bennett, “Many organizations talk about the skills gap and the need for workers. We all know it’s a problem. The solution is in doing something practical to make a change.”

And that’s what Bennett’s charged with doing.

Initiated, launched and now supported by SC&RA, KHL Group, SC&R Foundation and NCCCO, Lift & Move USA’s mission is to promote careers in the crane, rigging and specialized transport sector. The program comprises half-day career events for high school and college students as well as veterans – hosted by SC&RA members. While the endeavor introduces the next generation of workers to this industry, it also highlights the benefits of skilled craft professions to career and technical educators, school administrators and parents.

Lift & Move USA 2018 events are being hosted by NessCampbell Crane & Rigging in Portland, OR in October and Superior Cranes in Rockingham, NC in November. Additionally, Boulter Industrial Contractors in Webster, NY is confirmed for May 2019.


Buchanan Hauling and Rigging and Clover Machinery Movers recently hosted Lift&Move USA in Elkhart, IN. 

“Lift & Move USA’s hosted events are different from most career exploration events,” Bennett said. “Live equipment demonstrations, and opportunities for students to interact with the equipment and the people who operate, maintain and manage that equipment, is what makes Lift & Move USA special.”

The beauty of the endeavor, she maintained, is that it’s an industry-supported event that brings multiple members together. “There’s a place for just about anyone in the supply chain – from transportation, crane or rigging members to service providers to OEMs. Host companies are encouraged to partner with other local member companies who may bring different areas of expertise, in order to deliver well-rounded events.”

Lift & Move USA will also continue to support the SkillsUSA national championship, which took place last month in Kentucky. Thousands of students from all over the country competed in various skills categories that align with the crane, rigging and transportation industries. “We appreciate the support of Edwards Moving & Rigging, Industrial Training International and CCO practical examiner Equipment Training Solutions to provide hands-on activities in our booth,” said Bennett.

Extending our reach

In October, Lift & Move USA will assist Boulter Industrial Contractors at the Rochester (NY) Construction Career Day in reaching technical college students.

“We’re also partnering with members to network with teachers and administrators who are involved in the Association of Career and Technical Educators at events in Portland, OR, and Greensboro, NC, this summer,” said Bennett.

Taking it one step further, Lift & Move USA is now sharing entry-level job postings in its quarterly eNewsletter. The eNewsletter is sent to students and teachers who have attended Lift & Move USA events. SC&RA members can submit entry-level job postings, apprenticeships or internships to further workforce development opportunities for people seeking to enter this industry.

“SC&RA is providing a great service to its members by giving them the support and tools to engage people where they do business,” said Bennett. “When members establish relationships with local teachers and schools and workforce development groups … that’s what will ultimately make a difference.”

To get involved, host an upcoming Lift & Move USA event near you or submit job postings, visit Be sure to follow Lift & Move USA on Facebook and Twitter at @LiftMoveUSA.

SC&R Foundation spotlights scholarship, grant winners

In support of SC&RA member companies and the industry as a whole, the SC&R Foundation funds industry-specific research projects and educational initiatives, and also awards nearly $60,000 in scholarships and grants annually. Over $450,000 has been awarded to students since 1986.

Three recent award-winners were Jakob Green, Colin Gross and Linda Martin. All three have been able to utilize their awards to enhance their futures across a range of industry areas.

A recipient of a Foundation grant, Green recently graduated from a vocational tech school and landed a job as an equipment operator with The Shelly Company (Thornville, OH).

“My dad works for National Interstate and heard about the opportunity with scholarships and grants through the Foundation,” he said. “We connected to the website and filled out the application.”

Green loves being able to work outside and do something different every day, and sees himself working to advance within Shelly. He also genuinely appreciates what the SC&R Foundation is doing for the industry.

“You don’t find too many organizations willing to give that kind of money away to a kid that’s just going to go to a two-year school,” he maintained. “It really says a lot about the SC&R Foundation that they’re willing to invest in the industry’s future like this.”

Gross, currently an engineer with Northwest Crane Service LLC (Woodward, OK) who is additionally pursuing an MBA at Oklahoma Baptist University, knew exactly what he was going to do with his Foundation scholarship. “I am currently twelve hours away from graduating and the scholarship will almost cover the rest of my cost for the program.”

Gross also has a degree in mechanical engineering from Oklahoma State University but admits to being unfamiliar with the industry at first. “However, over the past four years, I’ve been exposed to many challenges and have grown to really enjoy the industry,” he emphasized. “I love the fact that, every day, you come to work and there is a new challenge. I look forward to continuing my career in this industry.”

Martin serves as the corporate safety director at Bay Crane (Long Island City, NY), but didn’t think she’d be eligible for a Foundation scholarship at first because she was pursuing a PhD.

“The Foundation contacted me personally and informed me that no one pursuing a PhD had ever applied, and encouraged me to continue, and then I was awarded a scholarship,” she explained.

Martin has already applied the award money to her summer classes this year, and is excited to add to her area of expertise. “My course of study is safety; obviously the crane industry is high-risk,” she noted. “There are very few people in the safety business that specialize in the crane industry. I have a family history in construction, and when I started doing some consulting early on with Bay Crane, I just fell in love with the industry.”

Martin admits that she’s thrilled to have the support of the Foundation. “It’s really inspiring that they’d support someone who’s not necessarily in the construction management end of things – but safety. We also play a vital role in this industry.”

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