UNION COUNTY — Even in the high-tech world of 21st century industries such as manufacturing and distribution the forklift remains an indispensable tool and learning how to operate one could help a person get a job.
In an interview with The Union Daily Times Monday morning, Union County Advanced Technology Center Site Coordinator Kathy Jo Lancaster announced that the center will host a Forklift Training Class this Friday from 8 a.m.-noon.
“Spartanburg Community College’s Corporate and Community Education Division will provide instruction using OSHA’s Powered Industrial Standards, material handling, operator skills, and accident prevention,” Lancaster said. “Successful completers of the course will earn a three-year certification in forklift safety, preventative maintenance, and driving/operation skills. The certification will include both sit down and stand up forklift operation.”
Lancaster pointed out forklifts are used extensively by wide variety of companies including most of those with facilities in Union County.
“The use of forklift technology is essential to our industrial and business sectors,” Lancaster said. “Just about everyone in Union County uses it. Distribution centers like Belk and Dollar General and manufacturers like Gestamp, Timken, and ESAB.”
Lancaster said that trained, skilled forklift operators not only provide a valuable service to the companies they work for, but by doing so in an efficient manner can improve production and thus enhance the profitability. She said this has resulted in a huge demand for forklift operators who have the training and the skills to not only effectively operate the machines, but also be ready to receive further training from their employers.
“Properly trained and skilled forklift drivers will save companies time and money by speeding up the work pace, moving inventory faster, and by increasing efficiency,” Lancaster said. “That’s why most manufacturing and other industrial businesses require their workers to have this certification. A lot of times they won’t even hire them unless they do.
“The Forklift Training Class is a basic forklift course and the certification the completers receive from the course lets employers know that they are ready for additional training provided by the company,” she said. “Once a person is hired the company that hires them has its own certification process, but that person has to first have the basic certification before they can be trained by the company.”
Lancaster said the class costs $139 and there are eight slots available. Participants must be 18 years of age or older.
For more information and/or to register for the class call Cathy Freeman at 864-466-1060 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Lancaster urged all those who are looking for work or are interested in changing careers and/or finding better paying, potentially long-term employment to participate in the class.
“This is a good pathway to a very good job,” Lancaster said.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or firstname.lastname@example.org.