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continued from previous page       warding careers in the crane operation,
         which  played  a large part  in Union’s   heavy hauling and rigging profession,”
         continued, steady growth.          said Bob Berry, Sims Crane Safety Di-
           In 1958 Armco Steel acquired the as-  rector  and director  of the apprentice
         sets of the Union Wire Rope Corpora-  program. “We are always looking for
         tion, and in 1988 Union was acquired   the right people who are eager to learn
         by WireCo WorldGroup, making Wire-  and build their skills  before jumping
         Co the largest wire rope manufacturer   into the seat of their own mobile crane.”
         in the United States.                Sims  Crane  apprentices  enjoy  full
           Today, Union  remains  an industry   benefits and start at an hourly rate of
         leader in  oil  and gas, mining,  crane   $15-$16. Most of the actual training oc-
         and general-purpose ropes with techni-  curs on the job and focuses on safety,
         cal support unmatched in the industry.   communication  between  operators
         The Union Cut-Off Program, which is   and other workers, and equipment op-
         designed to calculate, log and track the   eration. After completing the program,
         service life of Union drill lines is recog-  certified crane operators can make be-
         nized by contractors around the world   tween $30-$35 per hour.
         as the best in the industry.         The apprentice program is offered at
           Union Wire Rope – A century of wire   12 different Sims locations around the
         rope excellence in design, manufactur-  state including Tampa, Orlando, Jack-
         ing and technical support.         sonville and South Florida.
                                              “Our apprenticeship is the ideal situ-
         Sims Crane Apprentice              ation – you earn a paycheck while be-
         Program guides graduates           coming educated and developing tech-
         to successful, well-paying         nical skills,”  said Berry. “After four
         careers                            years,  you  will  receive  a  substantial   terity and strength and enjoy working
           As the economy changes and jobs of   pay increase and have a satisfying   outdoors  in  Florida  and on  or  around
         the future evolve, more young people are   long-term career rather than being   machines,”  said Berry.  “Crane opera-
                                                                               tors also need the ability to make solid
                                            hundreds of thousands of dollars in
         contemplating career paths that do not   debt, which has become so common and   snap decisions.  Our  apprentices are
         require four years of college. At Tampa-  such a burden for many young people.”   thoroughly  tested on  their  decision
         based Sims Crane & Equipment, quali-  The  Sims’ apprentice program fo-  making capabilities.”
         fied applicants can enter a paid appren-  cuses  on  specific  skill  sets  each  year.   Plant City-resident Clay Crosby re-
         tice program that will prepare them for   The first year emphasizes safety train-  cently completed  the apprentice pro-
         long-term, stable and potentially lucra-  ing,  including  OSHA  regulations  and   gram at Sims’ Mulberry,  FL location
         tive careers in the crane industry.  general safety on the construction site.   and couldn’t  be more pleased. At his
           With approximately 80 apprentices   Year two concentrates on rigging and   prior position, Crosby had to travel
         currently enrolled, Sims Crane has a ro-  signaling,  while  year three highlights   quite a bit, which was less than ideal
         bust, four-year statewide program turn-  crane set up and types of lifts. During   with a young family at home.
         ing out crane operators, rigging profes-  the final year, apprentices apply them-  “I knew Sims was a great company
         sionals and transport truck drivers.  selves  to developing key mental and   so  I  applied, worked  hard,  practiced
           Sims Crane is the 12th largest crane   judgement skills  including  safety and   the  skills  and  studied.  I  finished  the
         company in the United States.      load calculations.                 apprentice program ahead of schedule
           “We  invest  four  years  of  rigorous   “Men and women who want to work   in three and a half years,” said Cros-
         training to prepare apprentices for re-  in this field need to have physical dex-  by. “Right off the bat, I got a raise and

         46     Wire Rope News & Sling Technology   June 2017
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