Top Crane and Rigging Trainers Honored | Construction News

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The Association of Crane & Rigging Professionals (ACRP) and Crane & Rigging Hot Line have named Patrick Clark, national rental support manager for Lifting Gear Hire, and Jeffery Ellis, instructor and field services manager for Crane Tech LLC, as North America's Top Trainers of 2015.

Clark was judged best in the Corporate Trainer category, which includes trainers who work for companies such as suppliers, dealers, contractors, or rental companies, and who provide crane and rigging training to their customers and/or employees. Clark's employer, Lifting Gear Hire, Bridgeview, Ill., is a national rental provider of rigging and material handling equipment.

Ellis topped the Professional Trainer category, which includes trainers who work for companies that engage primarily in training. Ellis' employer, Crane Tech, Brandon, Fla., has provided crane and rigging training since the 1970s. It is a full-service training, certification, lift planning, and inspection provider.

Endorsed by the ACRP, the Eighth Annual Training Excellence Awards are supported by platinum sponsor Crane Institute Certification; gold sponsors Rigging Institute and Slingmax Rigging Products; silver sponsors Terex, Southwest Industrial Rigging, and Altec Sentry; and bronze sponsors Stephenson Equipment Inc. and Morrow; and supporting organization Institute for Safety and Health Management.

Commenting on the variety of nominations received from many sectors in the hoisting industry, Nelson Plumb of Crossland Construction, a member of the judging panel, said: “We need better-trained people who are willing to be trained by the best trainers in order to meet the demand for skilled craft workers. There is a large number of men and women in the workforce who don’t realize they have the talent to become top trainers. Tapping into this resource may be the greatest challenge our industry faces today.”

Corporate Top Trainer
Clark was selected for his initiative in writing custom training programs for hundreds of rigging and material handling products that LGH offers, then using technology to expand the availability of that information. “There are any number of off-the-shelf programs Pat Clark could use in his rigging training. Instead he's chosen to write his own program, tailored to the safety needs of his company's employees and clients. He’s carried his efforts to the entire industry through his YouTube training video series,” commented one Top Trainer judge.

Professional Top Trainer
Ellis was selected for repeatedly displaying care in improving the overall safety of a situation, even when correcting the condition of equipment, processes, or knowledge of employees not a part of his original task as a trainer. “Jeff Ellis’ knowledge and experience allow him to gain the trust and respect of people at all levels of organizations to impact positive changes, often beyond the scope of the training he was hired to do,” said one judge.

Judges evaluated each nomination on a scale of 1 to 10 in each of the following areas:

Use of innovative or hands-on instruction;
Encouraging peer or corporate accountability;
Evidence that training was successful; and
Overall impact on the students, environment, or industry.

Six other trainers received honorable mention recognition.

Corporate Honorable Mention
Gary Campbell, Allegiance Crane & Equipment
Bryan McClure, LPR Construction
Al Abel, Mazzella Lifting

Professional Honorable Mention
Carl Whitaker, Crane Institute of America
Yannick Morin, Kraning Inc.
John Mormann, Southern Illinois Carpenters Training Center

Clark and Ellis will receive complimentary registration and travel expenses to the 2016 ACRP general assembly May 10-13 in Chattanooga, Tenn., where they will be presented with a trophy during an awards ceremony. They will also be granted $2,000 scholarships, made possible through funding provided by the 2015 sponsors. All of those recognized receive free registration to a future Crane & Rigging Conference hosted by Crane & Rigging Hot Line.

2016 Top Trainer
Nominations can be made year round at www.toptraineraward.com. The first 30 individuals making a nomination will receive a 2016 Hot Line Crane Guide. Nominations received after July 31 will be considered for the following year’s Top Trainer award.