Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce teamed up with partner members Foodlink and Monroe Community College’s Corporate College to offer an introductory forklift and industrial vehicle training course.
The program is an initiative driven by input from Rochester Chamber member companies in need of entry-level material handling employees.
“Our objective is to prepare the applicants for the workforce by giving them a general fluency and proficiency in how to operate forklifts as well as the safety procedures and regulations, so that we can produce a higher quality applicant for employers,” said Rochester Chamber Strategic Initiatives Manager Adrian Hale. That business is then able to train them for their specific site and their specific equipment.”
After a three hour classroom session, the trainees hit the floor at the Foodlink warehouse for five hours of hands-on training with stand-up forklifts, sit-down forklifts and electric pallet jacks. The training provides participants with Occupational Safety and Health Administration certification to operate the machinery, allowing them to pursue further training and certification on equipment with employers.
“We would like this program to become the go-to for Rochester Chamber’s nine-county Finger Lakes region service area,” said Hale. “If a company is looking for people to operate forklifts, hopefully we can establish a level of reputation that we can pipeline people into work.”
“Partnering with Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce has enabled Foodlink to deepen our commitment to workforce development. Our partnership with the chamber has allowed us to leverage our combined resources and assets to train individuals with tangible skills and expand their employment opportunities,” said Foodlink Executive Director Julia Tedesco. “In the long run this helps us accomplish our mission by helping them to feed themselves and their families.”
Five of the 10 inaugural participants received job offers from area employers immediately after the day-long training session. The next Rochester Chamber forklift training program session dates are Oct. 23, Nov. 27 and Dec. 18.
For more information, email Adrian.Hale@GreaterRochesterChamber.com or call (585) 256-4605.