Students in the Ulster BOCES Motorcycle/Outdoor Power/Turf Management (MOP) program are building up their professional foundation by becoming certified forklift operators.
In order to obtain a National Safety Compliance Certificate of Training, the students underwent two days of classroom instruction by Ernesto del Aguila, sales manager and co-owner of Kingston-based Partner Equipment. His company’s corporate trainer, Amy del Aguila, assisted.
“Partner Equipment has been a strong supporter of our students,” says Principal Amy Storenski. In addition to their support with the training, earlier in the year they provided access to excavators for students to use while learning to construct hardscapes—otherwise known as manmade features used in landscape architecture.
Essential parts of the two-day lesson included inspecting forklifts before each use, clearing the area by alerting bystanders prior to moving the forklift, becoming familiar with the controls, adjusting the seat for correct ergonomics, starting slowly, and staying alert.
Then—under the watchful eyes of del Aguila and Partner Equipment logistics manager Michael Pistone—students headed outside for a practical assessment during which they put the vehicle through a comprehensive examination and practiced accelerating and breaking.
MOP student Amy Shultis, a junior from the Saugerties Central School District, said she was excited when she learned her class was going to receive the training and certification. “It gives you an upper hand when you apply for jobs if you already have the certification to operate the machines they have. It gives you an extra boost that others don’t have, especially at the age we are.” She also said she appreciated the instructors’ patience and thoroughness. “I feel like they valued the students and want to help us get our foot in the door.”
- Career & Technical Education (CTE)