As a winner of the 2009 Crane Hot Line Top Trainer award in the Professional Category, Ronnie Gray, owner of the Tower Crane School of Phoenix, was awarded a $1,250 scholarship to use for educational purposes. He has in turn donated his award money to Mike Soboski, a part-time crane operator, who will attend a two-week Tower Crane Training course in July. Gray is sponsoring the rest of the cost of the course.
Until he was layed off, Soboski most recently worked for a steel erector in Phoenix, Ariz, where he operated small and large telescopic cranes. Since then he has worked part time for local crane companies. Last year, Soboski attended the Tower Crane School of Phoenix for mobile crane, basic rigger, and signalperson training.
“Mike’s company closed its doors, leaving him jobless. With the job market being so bad, it’s hard to get full time work without moving to another state. I took a real liking to Mike and thought he could really use some help,” said Gray when he was asked why he selected Soboski to receive the scholarship.
In addition, Gray has talked to a small tower crane company about Soboski, which will consider him for employment upon successful completion of the tower crane operator course.
The Top Trainer contest is designed to recognize trainers who have made a positive impact on students, the work environment or the industry through the use of innovative training techniques or hands-on instruction, by encouraging peer or corporate accountability, and/or through quantitative evidence that the training was successful.