Fork Lift Training For HS Students

by : Thomas Cutler

According to Kristen Bevens, an Area Manager with ProLogistix, "We are at all time lows in the unemployment rate for Atlanta. We have been focusing on logistics staffing for seven years in the Atlanta market, we were the first and we are certainly the best. We have success stories and partnerships with the community that we have worked very hard to maintain. We have a full service training facility by the Atlanta airport. We can train general warehouse, forklift, and supervisors. We are very proud of the accomplishments and our reputation."

Bevens concedes it is difficult to locate qualified employees with the right powered industrial equipment experience. As a result the logistics placement specialists offer training to individuals with general experience. The company is training individuals on the attachments that offer higher paying jobs and are in demand. The world of warehousing is changing. Warehouse managers have to become great managers with their costs to compete. So the racks are closer and general sit down forklifts without attachments are not in demand. Slip Sheets, clamps, stand up reach, and order selectors are in demand.

Students are excited about an alternative to fast food or retail. They like that they could have a good paying career with a company and learn a lot about logistics. ProLogistix is training the High School grads in general or entry level warehousing. The clients participate in the training and expectations for the positions.

Bevens noted the ProLogistix utilizes the programs in three different initiatives:

1. Training our next generation of employees
2. Training clients employees for new equipment, or refreshers to maintain a safe environment
3. When hiring qualified individuals we are able to see if they can walk the talk and drive the equipment before placing them on assignment.

The training process is a combination of five days of classroom and hands-on training. The training process is not something that I want published. We advertise with High School, internet, referrals, cable advertising, flyers, and signs. Placements for graduates is immediate and the pay rates are from $8-9 for general warehouse, $10-15 for forklift operators with specialized training.

The prognosis for the program is quite favorable since, "Our goal is to have about 15-20 people per month go through the training," according to Bevens. Other PLX branches will replicate this training program; at least one in every market.

Unlike other staffing organizations, 100% of ProLogistix recruiting efforts are centered around logistics. Branch staff is trained in logistics, and they understand the intricacies of the industry. Staff is not spending time testing and interviewing bookkeepers, data entry clerks, and construction workers. ProLogistix is fortunate to have built a reputation in the communities served as the "go-to" company when seeking a job in a warehouse or distribution center.