Trade-UpThe Southeastern Construction Owners & Associates Roundtable (SCOAR), an industrial construction association, agreed to circulate lists of equipment needed by Trade Up™, announces Crane Industry Services (CIS).

Trade Up is a platform, formed through cooperative work between West Georgia Technical College, Crane Industry Services, LLC and ELA Consulting Group. The mission of Trade Up is to recruit, train and qualify a skilled labor pipeline for contractors. The intent is mutual benefit for employees seeking rewarding, interesting careers and employers seeking qualified people who are ready, willing and able to work. 

“Skilled labor shortages are at the heart of corporate inefficiencies, but the good news is that American ingenuity is delivering solutions,” said Debbie Dickinson, CEO of CIS. In May, the SCOAR Board of Directors voted to support Trade Up, by publishing a list of tools and equipment needed to train workers. The WGTC Foundation, a non-profit 501 (c)(3), will facilitate the donation of tools and equipment from contractors to be used on campuses and correctional facilities.

Representatives of the SCOAR Workforce Committee stated that the training is an excellent use for equipment being replaced on work sites. The general equipment wish list includes:

  • Lift equipment – chain fall hoists, industrial forklifts, cranes (mobile, tower or overhead), all types of lift equipment
  • Excavation equipment
  • Rigging gear – hooks, shackles, eyebolts, slings, wire rope, etc.
  • Safety – Hard hats, reflective vests, gloves, fall protection
  • Sub station components
  • Hand and power tools used in construction

For a more detailed list, go to and click on Donate Equipment.

Second Chance Careers

Using the NCCER crafts curriculum, Trade Up is working with special interest groups, such as veteran transition organizations, to welcome our service men and women home to good jobs and quality employers.  In addition, Trade Up is working with numerous correctional facilities to identify people who desire to reinvent themselves through education and skill-based training.

Recently Debbie Dickinson, CEO of CIS, participated in a panel discussion moderated by NCCER’s John Havlick at the 71st Correctional Education Association Conference in Long Beach, Calif. Other panelists included Brian Robinson of Englewood, Colo.-based TIC Inc., an industrial contractor serving power, energy, mining, and marine markets, Rex Rhone of the Texas Department of Corrections, and Mike Valdez of the California Department of Corrections.

Dickinson shared the example of Carroll County (Ga.) Prison, which is planning a training center to be built by prisoners under the guidance of skilled craft professionals. “It has the power to open the doors of prison to a life of productivity and value,” she said.  Inmates train and can earn NCCER certifications in welding, mobile crane operations, qualified rigging, excavation, steel erection, and working near power lines. “Our goal is that after re-entry, they will never see this facility, or a similar one again. They will be too busy raising families, working, building their communities and lives,” said Dickinson.

Carroll County Corrections, using the Trade Up platform and instructors from WGTC and CIS, will begin a new program for certifying crane operators this fall. They are using four different types of lift equipment retired from military service in the Middle East.

“With as little as six months of training, people can begin working in their selected trade. A full trade curriculum takes about two years. Trade Up uses an immersion process that surrounds the trainees with a work environment experience while they are building skills,” explained Dickinson.

About Trade Up™

Trade Up works with employers, technical and community colleges and funding agencies to provide training in more than 70 different construction crafts to help people build and expand careers in skilled trades. Training is funded through WIOA, VA, scholarships, employers, and investors. Learn more at

About Crane Industry Services

Crane Industry Services LLC, (CIS) based in the Atlanta, Ga. area, was established in 2008. CIS provides hands-on, classroom and technology based training for the crane and rigging industry, nationally accredited NCCER certifications, equipment inspections, expert witness services, and consulting to the lifting industry. Crane Industry Services operates the Centered on Safety™ Training Center in partnership with West Georgia Technical College Economic Development Division, in addition to employer-based training at customer locations. or (770)-783-9292.