Linamar Corporation’s Skyjack Division has partnered with United Rentals to participate in a Jobs for Veterans effort called STEP (Service-to-Employment Program), which helps military veterans throughout the United States transition from active duty to service technician careers.
The national program provides service personnel with a month-long training course, followed by on-the-job training, and eventual job placement at a United Rentals location. Skyjack provides specific machine training during the course.
"Skyjack units are some of the most popular in our rental fleet, and it is very beneficial to have them provide training up front," said Stephen Howe, service and maintenance training manager at United Rentals. “This program is a win-win for everyone involved. It helps us recruit people with technical skills and discipline, it helps Skyjack provide better technical support and it provides veterans with career opportunities.”
As of September, the unemployment rate of Gulf War-era II veterans is 3 percent higher than the national average of 5.9 percent. United Rentals has placed 86 military veterans through the program since its start in 2013. Skyjack hopes their involvement in the Jobs for Veterans program will help minimize this unemployment gap and provide further opportunities for the veterans.
“United Rentals is a huge supporter of Skyjack products. It is very beneficial to provide training to these veterans before they even begin working with the machines,” said Dan Woodruff, service manager for Skyjack in North America. “Not only are we helping these veterans, but we are also benefiting through product familiarity.”
Skyjack provides two to three days of training during the veterans’ month long training course. During these days Skyjack hosts classes on specific machines including booms, scissor lifts, and vertical mast lifts.
“These veterans already have immense technical training on machines such as helicopters and other military vehicles. With a little assistance from Skyjack, it is very easy for them to transfer that knowledge to our machines,” Woodruff said.
Skyjack has already participated in three Jobs for Veterans training courses with United Rentals in 2014 and is looking forward to continuing with this program in the future.