BelFlex collaborates with Freestore Foodbank to launch LIFT the TriState

Free job training prepares adults for work in the growing warehouse and transportation industries

BelFlex Staffing Network (BelFlex), a staffing and flexible workforce solutions firm in the commercial sector, has joined forces with the Freestore Foodbank, one of Ohio’s largest food banks, to launch LIFT (Logistics, Inventory Management, Facilities Management and Transportation) the TriState.

The program provides unemployed and underemployed adults over 18 years of age with the opportunity to obtain the hard and soft skills needed for employment in the warehouse and transportation industries.

Seventeen men and women are participating in the first session of the free 12-week program, which started on a couple weeks ago on Monday, July 24.

LIFT the TriState will be an ongoing program, with three sessions planned each year.

“Warehouse and transportation continue to be growth industries in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky thanks to some unique advantages of the area including its central location, high capacity inland marine ports, thriving international airport and well-connected highway system,” said Michael C. McCaw, CEO of BelFlex. “Finding qualified candidates to fill these positions is becoming more challenging, often because there are not enough skilled workers to fill them. LIFT the TriState aims to bridge this skills gap by putting individuals back to work so we can continue to build a thriving economy that benefits us all.”

LIFT the TriState will train participants to work in a variety of settings including distribution, material handling, warehouse management, and environments involving food and hazardous materials.

Upon completion, participants will receive a LIFT Certification of Completion and a Certified Logistics Associates (CLA) designation, as well as certifications in forklift operations and ServSafe, a food and alcohol safety training program.

Participants will then additionally be trained in Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compliance, 5S workplace organization methodology and lean manufacturing processes.

After graduating, BelFlex will actively help participants get started on their career path by finding them either a permanent position or temporary placement with one of its many TriState area clients.

“Unemployment is a significant contributing factor to hunger in our communities. One way to shorten the line of hungry neighbors is to provide employment skills in fields where a trained workforce is in high demand, such as warehouse and transportation,” said Kurt Reiber, Freestore Foodbank President and CEO.

Reiber continued, saying, “LIFT the TriState will help us put our customers on a path to self-sufficiency by providing them with the skills needed to find long-term career opportunities. We believe this program will not only ‘lift’ the individual but their families and our communities.”

LIFT the TriState is a collaborative effort that also includes Life Learning Center, an organization that helps at-risk individuals reach their highest potential, and BelFlex Staffing Network (BelFlex), Northern Kentucky’s only public, accredited, comprehensive two-year institution.

Hands-on training will take place at the Freestore Foodbank’s distribution warehouses in Wilder, Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio. Life Learning Center will leverage community volunteers to provide classroom facilitation and exercises as well as on-site care continuum resources such as probation and parole, mental health counseling and food assistance.

Gateway Community and Technical College will teach the classroom portion of the CLA certification and recognize three credit hours for any graduate of LIFT the TriState who enrolls in its degree programs.

To learn more about LIFT the TriState, please visit the BelFlex Staffing Network site on the program http://belflex.com/lift-the-tristate-program/ or http://freestorefoodbank.org/programs/lift-the-tristate/.