October is Careers in Construction Month – a nationwide celebration and recognition of the career opportunities that exist in the construction industry. In an effort to highlight the initiative, the SC&RF (Specialized Carriers and Rigging Foundation) has partnered with SC&RA to host an October photo contest – which focuses on kids in the industry: kids in cranes, tots (or teens) in trucks and rugrats in rigging. In conjunction with the Careers in Construction theme for the month, the Foundation sees this effort as a fun and creative way for participants to involve both family and community members in their day-to-day.

Lift-and-Move Vegas

Despite disruptions due to COVID, the Lift & Move USA event at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020 was still well attended and considered a success.

Those taking part can post their picture on the SC&RF Facebook page (@SCRFoundation) with the hashtag #CICmonth2020, and their name and company will be placed into a drawing to win a crane or trailer model.

Jonelle Anderson (NessCampbell Crane & Rigging), chair of the SC&RF Communications and Development Committee, explained that it’s all part of the bigger motivation. “We’ve made a push on social media and want to increase awareness on workforce development. Committee members have been sharing videos of stories that they find throughout the industry – of individuals that are willing to share their pathway into their trade. We’re always brainstorming how we can increase awareness and share those opportunities with others to bring our youth into the trades.”

Committed despite COVID

Building off of a successful 2019, SC&RF entered 2020 with high hopes and ample momentum. And while COVID disrupted much of the industry, the Foundation has maintained a 100 percent commitment to funding scholarships as it would in any normal year.

To that end, applications have tripled in 2020, with many of the applicants out of work – mostly related to COVID – and hoping to improve upon their situation while they wait to return. SC&RF acknowledges with great appreciation that, while revenue is down and need is up, its Partners in Education organizations have remained committed and continue to offer free or reduced tuition – with ITI (Industrial Training International) now offering unlimited seats within its courses.

“We are delighted to see the number of vocational-technical applicants increase in recent months since the pandemic,” said Foundation Scholarship Committee Chair, Debbie Evans (Aspen Custom Trailers). “We’re finding that those who might be without a job are looking to better their skills during this time – in order to go back into the marketplace with even more to offer.”

kids in cabs

In celebration of Careers in Construction Month, SC&RF partnered with SC&RA to launch an initiative promoting kids in the industry – involving submitted photos where the winner takes home a prize.

There have also been requests from educators for curriculum – virtual content – whereby the SC&RF board and research committee has responded by working to develop a course that would be appropriate for CTE (career and technical education) students and others interested in jobs skills prior to graduation.

Foundation President Dave Wittwer (Hays Companies) added, “COVID-19 has certainly presented unprecedented challenges not only for SC&RF, but for SC&RA members. The Foundation’s board of directors has met the challenges head on – with actions that include realigning program funding, prioritizing budget expenditures and, candidly, cutting expenses wherever possible. But most importantly, the Foundation board has been able to keep funding for vocational scholarships at a level that is unchanged – which directly feeds the workforce development initiative.”

Lift & Move in a Box

While the fall 2020 Lift & Move USA live events have been cancelled, the newly formed Lift & Move Governing Committee is working to provide relevant tools in this new virtual environment.

In honor of Careers in Construction month, the committee will be releasing “Lift & Move in a Box.” Work-based learning is education’s equivalent to industry’s “on-the-job training,” and companies in the industry can support their local schools in a variety of ways, including classroom visits (in-person or virtually, project-based activities and/or internships).

Lift & Move in a Box includes: the guidebook Understanding the CTE Community, Work-Based Learning, and Ideas for Industry-Education Partnerships/Lift & Move Hosting Manual with planning and best practices for executing in-person events/sample station scripts/“What is Specialized Transportation, Crane & Rigging” – a 15-minute slide show with script/links to various SC&RA and SC&RF videos explaining careers in crane, rigging and specialized transportation/and sample handouts. For access to Lift & Move in a Box materials, email Lift & Move Director Tracy Bennett at tbennett@scranet.org.

Launched in 2015, Lift & Move’s current supporting organizations include SC&RA, SC&RF, NCCCO Foundation and KHL – media partner. The program now resides under the SC&RF 501(c)(3) umbrella to provide continuity as the supporting organizations work together to impact workforce development industry wide. The Lift & Move Governing Committee is responsible for the program, vision and future growth of the events and activities of this initiative.

“Since Lift and Move has been created, thousands of students, vocational as well as high school, have been introduced to what our industry has to offer through live events provided by SC&RA member companies,” explained chair of the Governing Committee, Stephanie Bragg (Bragg Companies). “During this unprecedented time in our country, our industry faces a new challenge. Industry members will be provided the tools to keep their companies front and center in the public eye with Lift & Move in a Box.”

Lift-Move-in a Box

In honor of October’s Careers in Construction month, Lift & Move USA has released “Lift & Move in a Box” – a way for companies throughout the industry to learn how to host their own Lift & Move events on a scale that works best for them.

To that end, Lift & Move USA announced a new website in June with extended resources for both educators and students – with a focus on introducing the industry and providing career-path graphics, information on labor-gap locations and access to video and photo archives of events, training links and more. Visit www.liftandmoveusa.scr-foundation.org to access resources and sign up for their newsletters.

Encouraged to apply

Launched as a nonprofit arm of SC&RA, SC&RF is guided by a board of directors and committees comprised of volunteers, with an overall mission to serve the crane, rigging and specialized transport industry, support workforce development, provide educational assistance and conduct research to advance growth and opportunities within the industry.

Individuals looking to gain skills to advance their career are encouraged to apply for a Vocational/Technical or Partner in Education scholarship by October 31. Applications for collegiate scholarships will be accepted beginning October 15. Additionally, one final deadline remains for 2020 – December 31.

Of particular note in 2020, SC&RF established a scholarship award in memory of Jay Shiffler, who passed away on December 26, 2019. A beloved friend of many in the Association, Shiffler’s memory will go on, and this scholarship, funded by friends and colleagues, represents just a piece of his profound and lasting legacy.

Accordingly, 2020 SC&RF award winners included – in the Collegiate category: Jessica Rios, Combined Transport Inc. (George Bragg Memorial Scholarship); Jacqueline Shrader, A1A Software (George Young Memorial Scholarship); Amanda Quintanilla, Buchanan Hauling & Rigging (IUOE Continuing Education Scholarship); Grace Erlinger, Link-Belt Construction Equip. (Jay Shiffler Memorial Scholarship); Elise Freuh, Fruhquip, Inc. (Terex Continuing Education Scholarship).

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Receiving Vocational/Technical Scholarships were: Caiden Lee (Anderson Trucking Continuing Education Scholarship), John Bible (JK Crane Continuing Education Scholarship), Lawrence Franco (Heartland Communications/Crane Hotline Continuing Education Scholarship) and Osiel Alonzo (White Brothers Continuing Education Scholarship).

Partner in Education – CICB recipients include: Arielle Simms, Jennifer Marotta, Joshua Samuel, Brandon Manning, Elisabeth Eggelton and Ishmael Muhammad. Moreover, Andrew Brosnac was awarded a Partner in Education – Morrow Equipment Company scholarship.

Additionally, the Taylor Foundation and the McTyre Family have named scholarship commitments and awards in their name – to be awarded in 2020.

SC&RA members are also encouraged to visit the SC&RF website and get involved. Donations will only make the Association and the industry stronger. Interested members can find out more at www.scr-foundation.org.