On Tuesday, Tank-Weld Equipment (TWE) held a hand-over ceremony at Trench Town Polytechnic College (TTPC) for their forklift donation. The brief ceremony included attendees such as Tank-Weld Equipment Managing Director John Ralston, TTPC Principal Dr.Dosseth Edwards-Watson, Leader of the Opposition Mark Golding, among other Tank-Weld representatives, TTPC board members, stakeholders and press.
During the opening remarks, Ralston explained Tank-Weld Equipment’s decision to donate the forklift saying, “Tank-Weld believes in giving young people of Jamaica as much training and education as possible,”.
He noted that the dual-fuel forklift was given to the school in collaboration with Hangcha, who is the supplier of the equipment. Notably, Hangcha provided the forklift for donation free of cost, while TWE coordinated and covered the costs of shipping duty and first servicing for the handover of the forklift to TTPC. Additionally, through collaboration with Rymax Lubricants, Trench Town Polytechnic College will be provided free oil, lubricants for the forklift for the next three years.
“Tank-Weld has always been a company that has tried to give back to our communities. We recognize that the more you put into youth is the better it is for everybody… the more they can earn money, the less chance for crime. The more you can train them, the better they can earn. The whole society gains from it,” added Ralston.
The TTPC Principal, Dr.Dosseth Edwards-Watson, also echoed the sentiments of Ralston in her address to the attendees. The self-proclaimed ‘pastor’s kid’ referenced the bible verse Matthew 4:19, which states “Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people”.
She noted, “This forklift is the fishing lesson that will see us eating for life,”.
The principal added that the donation will afford the institution the ability to train hundreds of students who are currently on the waiting list to receive a forklift operator certification from TTPC. This will enable students who are of a lower socioeconomic background to tap into the multi million U.S dollar forklift operation industry. .
Similarly, Member of Parliament Mark Golding said continued development of technical and vocational training is essential to the delivery of skills to young people who are unable to pursue traditional university education.
“As we seek to build an economy that can stand up in the world and trade with the world in goods and services, we must train our people so they can provide the workforce and management that would attract that kind of investment here” said Golding. He mentioned that our unique positioning on a major trade route through the Panama Canal, especially as logistics becomes a bigger part of our economy, makes it even more vital for young Jamaicans to become qualified in these skills.
The forklift donated has a versatile model with an array of features. Kirk Finnikin, Sales Manager at Tank-Weld Equipment explained the unique capabilities of the forklift donated and how the model can be used to ensure universal training for participants in the TTPC programme. The model is the most popular forklift in the market with features such as triplex mast, super elastic tires, along with safety devices such as flasher and backup alarm among other features that gives the operator good dexterity. Finnikin added that once the students operate the forklift as trained, a high level of safety is afforded to the operator and those around.
Corporate social responsibility has been a consistent part of the Tank-Weld Equipment ethos since its establishment in 1973. Tank-Weld Equipment continues to consistently fundraise for hospitals, building netball and volleyball courts for youth, providing schools, hospitals and churches with roofing and continues to support youth sporting clubs.