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SMS Rents training equipment operators

photo_smallMay 6, 2011 - SMS Rents, has joined a group of industry professionals who are partnering to create new employment opportunities through education in Northern Ontario.


May 6, 2011
By SMS Rents

SMS Rents, has joined a group of industry professionals
who are partnering to create new employment opportunities through
education in Northern Ontario.

Brett Moroso, a regional manager for SMS Rents, reports that staff
members from their rental stores are contributing their expertise as
instructors for the new Niska Career Academy located in Cochrane,
Ont. The academy provides a variety of courses, combining classroom
and practical instruction in equipment operation and jobsite safety.
Programs cover the full scope of job skills from truck driving and heavy
equipment operation to erecting scaffolding and rigging as well as
environmental management, personal safety and CPR. The SMS Rents
instructors are training students to qualify for three different
certificates related to the safe operation of aerial lift equipment and
forklifts, including variable reach machines.

photo_small 
 He's at the top of his class.


 

Niska Career Academy is a new training institute established last year
to develop employees with the skills needed for employment at major
construction projects currently underway in the region. Adam McCarty, director of the academy, reports that at least eight large mining and
hydroelectric projects are now in development within 300 km of Cochrane,
all with a large appetite for skilled workers. The Lower Matagami
project of Ontario Power Generation and the Detour Gold mine, for
example, are each projecting a need for up to 800 workers on their
sites. Since classes first started up in September, the academy has
already graduated approximately 200 students. “And the employers keep
coming back to us,” says McCarty. “Our employment placement rates have
been very high.”

From the beginning, the school recognized that partnering with local
firms would ensure that its courses were a close match with the specific
requirements for employment on these job sites.

The SMS Rents courses provide instruction on three types of material-handling machines: aerial scissor lifts and booms; forklift trucks and
variable-reach forklifts or telehandlers. The courses are an extension
of the training programs SMS Rents offers through all its
stores.
 
Each course is presented as a one-day program. However, students are
encouraged to complete all three of its courses. Moroso explains, “With
the three certificates, the graduates can offer future employers
flexibility and therefore are much more valuable on the job site.” 

Moroso says his instructors also offer refresher courses for workers who
need to renew their certificates. “Our slogan at SMS Rents is 'job ready,' he continues, “and that’s how we want all of the grads to arrive
at their new jobs.”

The academy is an initiative of the Moose Band Development Corporation, a
business arm of the Moose Cree First Nation, which has retained a
majority interest in the school. While the training programs are open to
all, the initial impetus came from the desire of the area’s First
Nations to help their people take advantage of the emerging
opportunities created by the new developments.

SMS Rents also shares a special attachment to the area, as Cochrane is
the hometown of the company’s president, Marcel Langlois.  “We welcomed
the chance to take an active part in setting up the Niska program,” says
Langlois. “Our partnership there is part of our company commitment to
give back to the communities we serve; to support growth and prosperity
in our own backyard. “