Check out our 2024 Corporate Sustainability Report!

Trade Up Program Aims to Develop Skilled Labor for Construction Industry | Construction News

Crane Industry Services LLC (CIS) and its partners have started Trade Up, a new program to develop skilled laborers for construction contractors.

Specializing in preparing workers for most skilled trades in crane operation, construction, heavy industry, and manufacturing, the Trade Up program is part skills-gap assessment, part coordinated training, and part recruitment effort.

Trade Up has immediate openings for up to 12 contractor employers interested in participating in preparation for projects that will require skilled labor in the next six to 18 months.

“Answering the call for skilled labor requires a cohesive and coordinated approach between contractors, industry, and specialty service providers who can help individuals achieve lifelong, reliable careers as skilled craft professionals,” said Debbie Dickinson, CEO of CIS.

Peter Krammer, Managing Partner of ELA Consulting Group, a partner in the Trade Up initiative, said, “A multi-pronged approach is the only logical solution to the skilled labor supply shortage.”

Trade Up makes use of CIS’s training expertise, NCCER curriculum, and the resources of CIS’s partnership with the Economic Development division of West Georgia Technical College (WGTC), as well as the training and business development expertise of ELA Consulting Group.

The goal is to connect quality workers to quality employers. “We will help utilities, manufacturers, and contractors to plan in advance for the skilled labor they will need in the near term, and help workers achieve the training and qualifications needed,” said Dickinson. Added Krammer, “We will help employers identify a new labor supply who can be ready to work with training.”

Crane Industry Services takes a blended learning approach, combining online introductory training, instructor-led classroom training, hands-on instruction, and on-the-job training. In addition to regularly scheduled classes at the Centered on Safety™ training center located at the WGTC Murphy Campus in Waco, Ga., the WGTC Mobile Training Center brings training and testing to job sites, explains Laura Gammage, Vice President of WGTC Economic Development. “The Mobile Training Center is an RV equipped as a mobile classroom. Programs delivered by CIS in partnership with WGTC Economic Development are approved for funding from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA),” said Gammage.

“Cost for participation in Trade Up is nominal in comparison to costs associated with a few days of rework due to poorly-performed work by less skilled workers,” said Dickinson. Participating employers and contractors will receive assistance with defining the number of workers and specific skill sets needed, a site safety audit and skills checklist, recruitment assistance, and immersion training to qualify workers for specific tasks. “Training is documented and can lead to journeyman level competence and national certifications. The result is craft people who are skilled in multiple areas, making them valuable to employers,” said Dickinson.

Contractors and employers interested in participating in Trade Up should contact:

Peter Krammer,, 707-252-8880

Debbie Dickinson,, 770-783-9292


Lift & Access is part of the Catalyst Communications Network publication family.