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Cross students make history at BCSD, obtain forklift operation certification

Published Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Photo from the forklift operator certification test at Berkeley Electric Cooperative

This photo was taken during the test of one of the Cross High students at Berkeley Electric Cooperative on Friday, December 7, 2018. (BCSD photo)

Six students at Cross High School made history last week as they were the first BCSD students ever to benefit from lessons in forklift operation and become certified prior to graduation.

Through the purchase of a forklift simulator, 18-year-old students taking building construction or introduction to manufacturing classes were eligible to practice for and take a test administered by Berkeley Electric Cooperative.   

In addition to time allowed on the simulator at school, students interested in pursuing the forklift operator certification were provided notes, a study guide and a sample test by their CTE teacher, David Sweat. 

BCSD Career Academy Coordinator Sonya Addison-Stewart described the achievement of the students at Cross as "monumental." In addition to graduating with forklift operator certification, students in Mr. Sweat's class will graduate with OSHA 10 and NCCER Safety Certification. 

"These students will graduate and be career-ready for several industry fields," Mrs. Addison-Stewart said. "In some cases, with the certifications they possess, they will make more money right out of high school than some college graduates." 

In other settings, those interested in certification to operate a forklift would have to spend time studying, pay a fee of around $50 and find time during or after the workday to practice. Through the program BCSD plans to offer at additional schools and during additional semesters, students entering the workforce after graduation would be able to focus on other ways of improving their value beyond what’s typically achieved in the first year of a job. 

"I am proud of the work of our students," said Cross High Principal Alicia Pressley. "They are taking advantage of the resources our school and our district are providing, and we believe it will give them an advantage in the workplace."

Congratulations to Ashantia Thompson, John Moore, Brandon Crawford, Antonio Bermudez, Alaysha Brown and Austin Brown.