Written by D.Ann Shiffler - 20 May 2016
On a rainy Tuesday morning in Graham, North Carolina, USA, close to 300 high school and vocational school students turned out for the third installment of Lift & Move USA, a careers event directed at introducing the crane, rigging and specialized transport sector to young people.
Hosted by Buckner Companies on May 17, the event included short and informative presentations, videos,
tours, crane demonstrations, a simulator and a small tabletop mini-tradeshow.
“You will have the opportunity today to see firsthand what we do as a company and what we do as an industry,” said Doug Williams, CEO of the Buckner Companies in his welcome address to students and teachers. “From my point of view the real focus today is your group, 300 Millennials, a generation that will be larger and potentially more influential than the highly touted Baby Boomer generation.”
Williams went on to say that Millennials, if properly engaged, are known to think differently, be energetic and committed to making a difference.
“You all want to do something that matters, something that is more than the bottom line,” said Williams. “You will see today that our industry makes a difference.”
Lift & Move USA is jointly organized by SC&RA, KHL Group and NCCCO. Each event is hosted by an SC&RA member company, with Buckner taking the lead role for the third Lift and Move.
Delegates heard speakers from several companies, including ALL Erection and Crane Rental, Edwards Moving & Rigging, Southern Industrial Constructors and Buckner Companies, explain the career opportunities in the US crane, rigging and specialized transportation industry.
Among the highlights of the day was a tour of Buckner Companies and its crane yard, which had several models of cranes available for students to climb on and check out. Tours were given of Buckner’s impressive corporate office, which was built using crane parts and components as well as recycled flooring and steel from a University of North Carolina sports coliseum on which Buckner has provide steel erection and crane work several times through the years.
The event featured rotating stations allowing students to stay on the move all morning.
“There is a significant worker shortage in the crane and specialized transport industry and the timing is great for you,” said Chris Newton, human resources director for Southern Industrial Constructions. “Wages and benefits will continue to increase as companies compete for your skills and abilities.”
He said the industry offers a great opportunity for upward mobility.
“I am in charge of Human Resources for our company and I started out as an equipment mechanic,” Newton said. “Our executive vice president started out as a rigger. The general manager of our Wilmington area location was a crane operator.”
The day wrapped up with a barbecue lunch for all the students and participants. Gold sponsors were ALL Erection and Crane Rental, Southern Crane/Southern Industrial; silver sponsors were Southway Crane & Rigging. The lunch sponsor was Buchanan Hauling and Rigging, refreshments were sponsored by Mazzella Companies, and the Lanyard sponsor was Guy M. Turner Inc.
The next Lift & Move event is scheduled for November 2, 2016 at Bragg Companies in Long Beach, California.
Start times at each station will be: 9:30, 10:00, 10:30, 11:00.
STATION A (25 mins)
1. Buckner tour
Chip Pocock, Buckner
2. Lift & Move/Foundation Videos (Training Room)
Jason Bell, SC&RA
STATION B (25 mins)
1. Crane/Rigging story (Training Tower)
Rick Bohne, Buckner
2. Transportation story (Training Tower/Yard)
Olivia Johnson, Edwards Moving & Rigging
STATION C (25 mins)
1. Welding story (Shop)
Mike Holt, Alamance Community College
2. Certification, Training and Safety (Back courtyard)
David Johnson, Guy M Turner
STATION D (25 mins)
1. Skills Gap/Career Path Presentation (Warehouse Yard)
Chris Newton, Southern Industrial Constructors
2. Panel Q&A (Warehouse Yard)
• Steven Manzolillo (Buckner)
• Jack Shirey (Southern Industrial Constructors)
• Chad Rados (ALL Companies)
Program of Events
Doug Williams, CEO, Buckner Companies
Start times at each station will be: 9:30, 10:00, 10:30, 11:00.
Tabletop Displays & Simulators
Buffet lunch in tabletop area
Trevor Pease, President, KHL Group Americas
(Program is subject to change)
How the presentations/workshops will work
After a welcome address from Doug Williams, CEO of Buckner Companies, students were split into three groups. Each group rotated around the four education Stations: A, B, C and D.
The start times at each new Station was: 9:30, 10:00, 10:30, and 11:00.
There were two topics to be viewed at each Station. On arrival at the Stations, groups were split in two and completed each of the topics in turn. Groups will then move on to the next Station.
The time allocated for each Station was 25 minutes, so topics took around 10 minutes.
During coffee breaks and lunch students were encouraged to talk to the ‘table top’ exhibitors, to try out the equipment simulators, and to view the cranes and transport equipment on display.
Doug Williams, CEO, Buckner Companies
Doug entered the industry in the late 70s as an iron laborer, and then worked in a number of roles - ironworker, superintendent, project manager, estimator, general manager, vice president, president – before being appointed as Buckner Companies’ CEO.
In addition to his career at Buckner, Doug’s wider industry involvement has included being a member of the task force that set up the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators, and at the SC&RA his roles have included Crane and Rigging Group Chairman, President and Board Chairman.
Doug is passionate about creative, ‘out of the box’ approaches to the crane, rigging and specialized transportation business, and committed to the development and growth of the individuals who choose to work in the industry.
Chip Pocock, Safety and Risk Manager, Buckner Companies
Chip joined Buckner in 1995 and in that time has risen to his current post as the company’s Safety and Risk Manager. Before joining Buckner he spent almost eight years with Williams Industries, where he was Safety Director, managing field safety and crane inspections.
In recognition of his voluntary work and commitment to the industry, Chip was named the 2004 person of the year by the Steel Erectors Association of America.
Chip has worked on a number of committees relating to crane regulations and safety, and has been a member of the Crane and Derrick Negotiated Rulemaking Advisory Committee, created by OSHA.
Jason Bell, Membership Manager, Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA)
Jason Bell joined SC&RA in 2013 and works as an integral contact for the entirety of the Association’s membership of more than 1,300 companies in 46 countries. His daily focus is to connect with member and non-member companies, assisting them with exploring the benefits that SC&RA involvement provides.
Jason holds a B.A. in Business Management and Leadership and brings more than a decade of association membership experience to SC&RA.
Rick Bohne, Account Executive, Buckner Companies
Rick has more than 15 years experience in the lifting and rigging industry, ranging from shop hand, to crane operator, crane safety advisor, project and construction manager, and business development.
He joined Buckner this year as Heavy Lift Account Executive, having spent the first fifteen years of his career working for his family’s business. He started aged 16 sweeping floors before taking on a full-time job as an oiler on a crawler crane. Over the next nine years he worked on bigger and bigger equipment, eventually operating an 825 ton capacity crawler crane.
From operating cranes he began to manage crane operations, including a project where he coordinated the activities of 45 cranes and 130 operators on an oil refinery project.
Olivia Johnson, Project Coordinator, Edwards Moving & Rigging
Olivia joined Edwards Moving and Rigging in 2015 and works in its Nuclear Projects Division. Her focus is on streamlining internal and external communications to ensure successful implementation of projects.
Edwards Moving & Rigging is headquartered in Shelbyville, KY, and has been working in the heavy hauling and specialized rigging industry since 1961. Olivia is based at the company’s Greenville, SC office.
Before joining Edwards Olivia worked in business management and leadership. She holds a B.A. in Communication.
Mike Holt, Head of Welding Technology Department, Alamance Community College
Mike took his first step into welding in the 3rd grade at the age of 9, and was a certified welder by the time he was 19. He became a welding instructor when he was 23 and in 1996 accepted the position as Head of the Welding Technology department at Alamance Community College.
He holds more than 20 welding certifications, including AWS D 1.1, ASME and Department of Defense and Aerospace. In 2005 Mike obtained Certified Welding Inspector (CWI) and a Certified Welding Educator (CWE) status. In addition to his work at Alamance, Mike is the owner of Mike Holt Welding Services, which provides welding fabrication and consulting work to industrial clients.
David Johnson, Safety Director, Guy M Turner Inc.
David Johnson has worked for Guy M Turner Inc (GMT) for more than 16 years, the last five in his current position as safety Director. GMT is a heavy haul and heavy lift company based in Greensboro, NC.
Before joining GMT full-time, David spent 13 years in public education, teaching at the High School and Community College level. He holds a B.A. in Management and numerous safety credentials, including OSHA Authorized Construction Trainer.
Chris Newton, Corporate Director of Human Resources, Southern Industrial Contractors
Chris is the Corporate Human Resources Director at Southern Industrial / Southern Crane. He has worked for Southern since 2008 and has been in human resources for 15 years, with extensive experience in organizational development, recruiting, and training. Chris has also spent a good amount of time in construction safety and holds a professional certification as Construction Health and Safety Technician.
After high school, he served for four years in the US Coast Guard, becoming an industrial equipment mechanic. While working as a mechanic, he attended school at night to obtain his qualification in Associates in Business Administration. From there, he took an entry level position in human resources with the NC State Ports Authority and then progressed to his current role.
Steven Manzolillo, Apprentice Ironworker, Buckner Companies
Steven joined Buckner in April of 2013 as an Apprentice Ironworker and has since earned his Journey Level Certification from the state of North Carolina's federally approved Apprenticeship Program.
He has gained experience rigging, connecting, and bolting throughout his three years with Buckner Steel Erection and performs all assigned tasks with dedication to production and quality.
He holds various welding certifications and has earned a multitude of NCCER credentials and certifications related to the work he has performed throughout the past three years. He is a great example of the opportunity that exists for young people in the construction industry.
Jack Shirey, Operations Manager, Southern Crane (Southern Industrial)
Jack is currently the Operations Manager of Southern Crane, a division of Southern Industrial, and has been a dedicated employee for 11 years. Prior to becoming the Operations Manager, he was a crane operator for Southern Crane, operating machines up to a 110 Ton capacity.
He has worked in the industry since 1989, performing various jobs dealing with cranes. Before Southern Crane Jack was in the US Navy ‘Seabees’ as a Heavy Equipment operator, which is where he learned to be a crane operator.
Once he left the service in 2000 he went to work for Earl Johnson III as a truck driver and worked his way up to the position he holds today.
Chad Rados, Industrial project Coordinator, ALL Companies
Chad began working with the ALL Family of Companies at the age of 18 as a crane oiler. Within a year he was charged with the operation of industrial cranes, then rough terrain cranes, and, finally, heavy truck-mounted cranes. He remained an operator at the company’s flagship yard in Cleveland for 10 years.
He moved to ALL’s Chicago branch in 2005 and two years later was named Site Supervisor the company’s downtown yard. After seven years in Chicago he moved to Central Rent-A-Crane – part of the ALL Family of Companies – to work as Industrial Project Coordinator at the BP Whiting Refinery south of Chicago.
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