A remarkable 650 high school and college students and military veterans attended the second Lift & Move USA careers event, held 10 February at TNT Crane & Rigging’s headquarters in Houston, Texas.
The high attendance gives the fledgling careers event a massive boost. Around 140 delegates attended the first Lift & Move USA conference in Chicago last year, but the numbers increased fourfold in Houston.
The event is jointly organised by SC&RA, KHL Group and NCCCO. Each event is hosted by an SC&RA member company, with TNT taking the lead role for the second conference.
Delegates heard speakers from companies, including Mammoet, Deep South, TNT, Lifting Gear Hire (LGH), Bengal and Berard Transportation, explain the career opportunities in the US crane, rigging and specialized transportation industry.
Mike Appling, TNT's CEO, said; "Lift & Move was a tremendous success from every angle. The students were well informed about our industry, the sponsors achieved real benefit, the content was very informative and with over 750 people [including non-students] the participation was off the charts.
"It was also nice in a highly competitive industry to see many of those competitors, vendors and other industry participants pull together around a common goal of increasing work force interest and participation in the crane and special transport arena."
Antoy Bell, TNT director of human resources, said the Houston area would see US$ 60 billion spending on construction related projects in the coming years and that there was a skills shortage in the region, with hundreds of thousands of unfilled jobs in the area.
He said the industry gave students the opportunity to have satisfying and lucrative careers without necessarily having to go to college.
“You know about supply and demand don’t you?", Bell asked the student audience, "The demand for skilled workers is high, and the supply is low. And what happens when demand outstrips supply? That's right; wages go up.”
Gold sponsors of the event were CICB, H&E Equipment Services and LGH. Silver sponsors were All Companies and Tadano. Lunch sponsors were Buchanan Hauling & Rigging, Deep South, Maxim and J&B Pavelka; the lanyards were sponsored by Scott-Macon Equipment.
Simulators were provided by NACB, IUOE and Lee College’s Workforce Center, and media promotion services were provided by MightyMo Media Partners.
Two further Lift & Move USA events are planned for the rest of this year. The first will be hosted by Buckner Companies in North Carolina in May, and Bragg Crane will host the programme in California in November.