As the final headcount came in, the resounding sense of industry pride could be felt across the grounds of the Deep South headquarters in Baton Rouge, LA. With an incredible 653 students in attendance, the November 15th Lift & Move USA event attracted attendees from around the state interested in learning more about technical careers in the crane, rigging and transportation fields.

“In the last 30 years, the education system has migrated from a system that prepares students for life as adults, to one that prepares them for college,” said Brett Melvin, executive director, Lift & Move USA. “College can be a great stepping stone in life, but alone, it is not an end result. Too many young people today do not have even the basic skills to build a birdhouse, fix a water faucet or change out a light fixture. We have a society that places a priority on book sense, at the expense of common sense. One without the other will not yield a positive outcome.

Students rotated throughout the Deep South property across 10 different stations, each showcasing a different facet of the industry. The high schoolers had the opportunity to speak with engineers, welders, crane operators, and more.

Todd Marchand, an operator speaking at one of the stations said, “When you were little you probably had Tonka trucks, this is just playing with toys on a larger scale.”

“I thought it was a great event. We had some people who were really interested,” said Jeremy Landry, project manager, Deep South. “I was walking around and I could see in groups of 60, those 10 people who were really interested. And if we get a sixth to really pay attention, I think it was a success. You couldn’t expect 653 high school students to come out here and be on point for two hours. I think it went really well, I thought it was well received, and overall, a perfect day.”

At the conclusion of the day, several $1,000 training scholarships were awarded by ATS, in addition to a drawing, and another cash prize for social media posts throughout the day’s event. Students were encouraged to share their thoughts on the day’s events on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

“The day was great, all the kids were very engaged and everything was running very fluidly,” said Garrett Banta, engineer, Deep South. “The stations were also very diverse.”

For more information on Lift & Move USA and how to get involved in this incredible industry initiative, head to www.liftmoveusa.com.