WorkWhile Launches Certification Program to Solve Forklift Staffing Shortage

WorkWhile launches the first-of-its-kind in-app training and forklift certification to meet the high demand for certified forklift operators.

Supply chain challenges have continued to haunt the economy long after the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, the shortage of skilled labor, especially certified forklift operators, has been a major obstacle for businesses across the country. The businesses most impacted by the forklift operator shortage are often those that serve consumers, like retail warehouses, CPG manufacturing, food production, and more. Meanwhile, wages are not rising at the same rate as inflation, leaving many workers living paycheck to paycheck. By building an all-mobile, in-app forklift certification for workers, WorkWhile can help get more people into higher-paying, skilled warehouse jobs across the country —benefiting hourly wage earners and businesses alike.

WorkWhile’s free forklift certification program is the first of many initiatives aimed at helping hourly workers create more financial opportunities for themselves. Workers with a forklift certification can earn on average around $3.55 more per hour —or over $7,300/year— compared to a material mover without a forklift certification. By earning nearly 24% more, forklift-certified workers can build more financial stability for themselves and their families. One of our inaugural graduates, Michael Richardson, said, “With my new forklift certification I got from WorkWhile, I’m earning more immediately: $20/ hour. The training was quick and I could do it all on my phone. It feels good to be taking the next step in my career”

WorkWhile has partnered with Forklift Certification Institute, an all-online, OSHA-compliant forklift certification program, to provide the training content & certification testing through the WorkWhile app. The partnership delivers an innovative path to up-leveling skills and earning more money for a blue-collar workforce.

“As a worker-first platform, we are proud to offer our workers an easy, accessible, and free way to start building a career while increasing their earning potential,” says Jarah Euston, Co-Founder & CEO of WorkWhile. “WorkWhile is in a unique position to help workers develop new skills that they can apply immediately to businesses with critical, unfilled jobs. We are addressing the skilled labor shortage head-on by offering a 21st century, an all-mobile path to certification for these in-demand jobs.”

The training and certification program is offered free for WorkWhile users. Most other certification programs require a nominal fee and a desktop, which can be inaccessible to workers without disposable income or a laptop. The training consists of short, easy-to-follow videos and slideshows that can take as little as 2-3 hours to complete. However, workers can go at a pace that fits their schedule. Upon completion of the training, workers will be prompted to take the final test and earn their classroom certification. Once certified, graduates will finalize their OSHA certification on equipment at the job site.

Job seekers today take, on average, 5 months to find a new job. With WorkWhile, those 5 months shorten to minutes, and people can start earning right away. Similarly, once a worker has completed their forklift certification, the jobs on the WorkWhile app that require forklift certification will become instantly available—allowing workers to earn a higher hourly wage right away. The pilot program has already placed several newly certified forklift operators on the floor. Zoey Nolen, the Regional Operations Manager at AxleHire said, “It’s been challenging finding skilled workers for our warehouse. Recently, we were able to get several of our shift leads for forklifts certified through the WorkWhile program—at no cost to us. The training was simple and quick. We had 3 certified leads on-site within a week.”

The new forklift certification program is an important milestone in offering modern, accessible, and all-mobile upskilling opportunities to a blue-collar workforce.

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