Carolina Handling has partnered with Wake Technical Community College and five other materials handling equipment dealers to offer a new forklift diploma program that will begin this northern autumn at North Carolina's largest community college in Raleigh.
The new one-year program will pair students with a sponsoring dealer to prepare them to be technicians specialising in the maintenance and repair of forklifts.
Students will attend classes on Monday and Tuesday at Wake Tech and work the remainder of the week at the sponsor's dealership, earning work-based learning credits and an hourly wage, according to Paige Kearns, professor and program director of Heavy Equipment & Transport Technology at Wake Tech.
Upon graduation, students will be entitled to tuition and textbook reimbursement based on the agreement with their sponsoring dealer. There also may be a tool program incentive available.
The new forklift diploma program will begin on 15 August, with space for 16 students. Those interested in the program should apply by 5 August.
James Sanders, director of operations - North Division at Carolina Handling, says the company's partnership is an opportunity to raise awareness about the forklift industry and to help recruit technicians for a growing organisation that needs to hire at least 70 technicians in the coming year.
The exclusive Raymond Solutions and Support Centre for the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama and the Florida panhandle, Carolina Handling also will provide the Wake Tech program with drive units, motors and other components for hands-on learning and electric pallet jacks, reach trucks and other equipment to coincide with classroom instruction.
"We hire a lot of associates out of Wake Tech," Sanders says. "Wake Tech has been a great partner and we hope that we can be one, as well. We've all come together with other dealers to help support this program so we can draw students from it. It's good for our community and it's good for our industry."