The warehouse is part of Columbia High School’s Global Logistics Academy, and inside students get hands-on instruction, gaining the skills and experience necessary for a successful career in the logistics field.
But until recently the warehouse lacked a key ingredient — a forklift.
So academy instructor Rebecca Golden made a call to Ring Power in Lake City and Regional Sales Manager Todd Sandlin set the wheels in motion to make a forklift in the warehouse become a reality.
Oct. 2 Ring Power Lift Trucks, with administrators and students watching, handed over the keys to a Caterpillar C5000 to Golden. With the support of Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift of America, Ring Power Lift Trucks donated the use of the Cat lift for the academic year.
“The forklift will allow students to train and become forklift certified, making them more employable,”
Having a forklift in the warehouse will also allow outside groups to come in and become forklift certified, providing additional income to sustain the program, Golden said.
At the warehouse on campus students receive books from First Book, an organization out of Washington D.C. that collects and donates books. When a shipment arrives, students receive the order, package the books and then distribute them throughout the country.
Three years ago the Global Logistics Academy started with just 53 students. Currently 124 students are enrolled in the program and many of them enter careers in the logistics field upon completion of the program.
Anthony and Andrew Pickolo started in the logistics program in their sophomore year. Now seniors, they are spending time in the warehouse on-campus and interning with several companies off-campus.
Andrew said once he completes the program this year he is “pretty much guaranteed employment at the Target distribution center.”
Target has also partnered with the logistics academy and recently donated racking for the warehouse.
The Columbia High School Logistics Academy makes a lot of sense.
Lake City, with its access to major highways and rail lines, is quickly positioning itself as an inland port. Several major corporations have distribution centers already located in Lake City, and many more are expected.
Ring Power Corporation, North and Central Florida's Caterpillar®