Students complete forklift training

Published 10:24 am Monday, March 13, 2017

The seven students in Wayne White’s class made it all look so easy on Thursday afternoon.

That’s when they readily demonstrated to their instructor how well they had learned the skills necessary for a forklift, clamp truck and reach truck operator certificate. Since Monday, they had been taking both classroom and hands-on training. The last day was to determine if they were certifiably ready.

This last part took place with the men operating the vehicles and placing crates on a shelf set up in the large auditorium space regularly used for various programs.

“We are gearing up to offer new customized training programs through Workforce Development,” said Angela Lawhorne, the new director. “With new funding from the Workforce Credential Grant and our new non-credit financial aid (FANTIC), students can walk away with an industry-recognized credential for a third of the cost or less. We are working to roll out new programs, and aim to work closely with local employers to meet their training needs. It’s an exciting time for Workforce Development!”

Dr. Dan Lufkin, president of PDCCC, came to watch the training. He said there’s a great need in industry for such operators.

“We’re committed to serving business needs in the region and making this their first choice for workforce development,” he said.

The following students told of their reasons for the classes:

• Demetri Wiggins, 22, said he saw the training as a job opportunity.

• Danielle Handsom, 36, who works as a safety coordinator for High Liner Foods in Newport News, sees the certification as a passport to other job opportunities.

• Morris Lankford, 37, said a counselor recommended the program to him, advice which he obviously took to heart.

• Duray Hudson, 28, said a friend advised him to sign up.

• Edward Commodore, 34, said he was asked by the safety program coordinator at High Liner Foods to learn so that he could teach others. Indeed, he helped PDCCC President Dr. Dan Lufkin try his hand at operating a particular forklift.

• Terrence Jeffrey and Joshua Warren, 18, were advised by their guidance counselor Ale Massenburg at Franklin High School to take the spring course.

To learn more about the program, call 569-6050 or email