In September, Crane Industry Services, LLC (CIS) held an open house for its new 8,892-sq. ft. Centered on Safety Training Center, located in Carrollton, GA. Representatives from Maxim Crane Works, a CIS customer, assisted with cutting the ribbon on the new facility. About 40 customers, vendorsTr and members of the local business community and Carroll Chamber of Commerce attended.

CIS’s primary focus is training and certification for the crane and rigging industry. However, CIS also invests in the future of the industry by inviting area students to learn about careers in construction. The open house was followed by a one-day workshop for local 8th grade girls, providing an opportunity for the students to learn about various construction professions.

“The girls really got into it,” said Debbie Dickinson, CEO of CIS of the Power UP workshop. They learned how to tie rigging knots and worked on crane operator simulators. “They were working pretty hard, and they kept at it,” says Dickinson. Approximately 10 girls participated in the workshop and several parents and educators observed. CIS intentionally kept the number of participants low in order to track how much they could accomplish in a day and give them meaningful learning. Though the participants didn’t have a written test, at the end of the day they were administered an oral test with an emphasis on safety. “They made connections about thinking through decisions and being aware of their decisions and surroundings,” she added.

Workshop participants were given personal protection equipment (PPE) including a job-approved hard hat and a safety orange T-shirt. “We talked a lot about safety—jobsite safety, PPE, and why you should wear this. We talked about how the construction world has changed. Once upon a time jobs were only for men because it took brute strength to do the job. That’s not necessarily true anymore because equipment is more sophisticated today. There was lots of interest in careers that the girls heard about during the Workshop,” says Dickinson.

“I learned how to tie a bowline knot, hand signals, how to control a crane, and rigging. I would recommend this to my friends,” said one student on her evaluation. “It’s a little place with so much to offer. It exceeded my expectations,” said another. A third participant said she is “going to keep the craning career an option for when I’m older.”

While the event “was all about the girls,” said Dickinson, she reported how important it is for parents to hear the message also—construction is a field with great opportunities for everyone. “They, too, were hearing about careers they’d never considered, and they were happy their daughters were being exposed to careers and great opportunities,” adds Dickinson.

Learn more about Power Up at https://www.poweruploud.org/.

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