For many equipment and event rental operations, wintertime means slower offseason months that give employees a little more breathing room. It’s the right time to catch up on professional education and training they probably didn’t have time for in peak season when business was moving at a breakneck pace.
The American Rental Association (ARA) makes it easy for rental managers to source impactful, rental-specific professional development options that are easy on the budget or even free of charge.
“Most of the training that we provide our employees is through ARA,” says Robert Copley, CERP, sales manager, Event Essentials, Windsor, Wis.
“The training pieces ARA offers are a great tool to help our employees understand the industry a bit more, and for us to utilize internally for continuing training and education. ARA’s RentalU catalog is a big advantage for our organization; it helps us hone in on specific training, whether it’s safety, truck driving or whatever the subject is,” he says.
This winter, take the time to check out these education and training offerings under the “Learn” tab at ARArental.org and consider how they can enhance your employees’ skills and professionalism — which can, in turn, make your rental business even more appealing to customers.
RentalU. This is ARA’s online learning platform, the central hub for ARA’s education and training content. Material at RentalU is organized into two distinct categories: Event catalog and Equipment catalog. Each are full of videos and downloadable documents covering a broad range of topics like customer service, operations, management/leadership, technology, transportation/vehicles, safety and more. RentalU also gives managers the ability to assign courses to employees.
ARA Certified MEWP (mobile elevating work platform) Training. The ARA Certified Train-the-Trainer program qualifies graduates to train employee operators using ARA materials that satisfy OSHA (Occupational and Safety Health Administration) requirements and ANSI (American National Standards Institute) A92 standards. Enrollees take a classroom portion of the training online through RentalU and then spend 4-5 hours completing a hands-on portion of the training conducted by an ARA Master Trainer.
ARA Certified also presents a MEWP Operator Training program that qualifies graduates to operate MEWPs to OSHA requirements and ANSI A92 standards, increasing the value employees can provide to customers.
“I would definitely recommend the ARA Certified MEWP training to other rental operators,” says Mark DeLeon, operations and strategic client manager, PMT Forklift Corp., West Babylon, N.Y. “We use two or three other off-the-shelf programs, and this is on par or above factory-level training.”
ARA Certified Sales and ARA Certified Service. ARA Certified Sales provides knowledge through training courses such as customer service, digital marketing, sales skills and more; ARA Certified Service educates users in electrical systems, diesel engines, gas engines, hydraulics and other topics pertinent to maintaining rental equipment. Each certification program helps employees grow and learn with self-paced, dynamic training plans catered to their job functions.
In 2023, ARA will add a Class 1-5 forklift certification, also commonly known as a powered industrial truck or fork truck, to the lineup of ARA Certified programs, and planning is underway to develop a program for Class 7 rough-terrain forklifts and straight-mast rough-terrain forklifts.
Driver training programs. The Professional Driver Education Program, a popular favorite in the equipment rental industry that focuses on delivering, loading and securing equipment, along with operational best practices, has been revamped to include newer videos and animations, interactive elements and updated regulations. The Box Truck Training program is tailored for event rental drivers and offers in-depth
courses on loading, unloading and the delivery process.
Certified Event Rental Professional (CERP). The long-running CERP program, which is the event rental industry’s only professional designation, strengthens event rental operators’ knowledge, expertise and commitment to the industry and customers. New registrations to the CERP program are temporarily halted as an expansive rebuilding and modernization refit is underway. Watch for the dynamic new incarnation of CERP to be introduced just prior to The ARA Show™ 2023 in Orlando.
“I wanted to do [ARA’s CERP] to stand out,” says Anne Marie DeAngelis, CERP, who launched her business, Champagne & Stars Event Decor, New Castle, Del., in January 2020 and achieved her CERP credentials soon after. “The information in the disciplines was good, because I didn’t know much about the history of the party and event rental industry or where many of the trends came from. Also, the sales and marketing information was helpful for the business end of things.”
Prioritize Safety series. This series of two-minute videos, available through RentalU, instructs employees on safety concepts that are essential to every rental operation. Just a few examples of topics covered in the series include lifting and moving, defensive driving on the customer site, and fire extinguisher and forklift safety basics.
Safe tenting resources. As part of its commitment to initiatives surrounding best practices in tent safety and education, ARA has introduced resources for those involved in renting tents. The Tent Ballasting Tool, created in partnership with the Advanced Textiles Association (ATA) Tent Rental Division, is designed to determine the minimum weight requirement to safely anchor or ballast non-engineered tents. The Emergency Evacuation Planning for Tented Events document educates rental companies and their customers about their roles in ensuring the safe use of the equipment and assists all parties regarding measures to take when emergency situations occur during tented events.
You can learn more and get started on these offerings under the “Learn” tab at ARArental.org.
Finding employees is a top issue for businesses across the country and the equipment and event rental industry is no different. To help navigate this challenge, the American Rental Association (ARA) has released new resources for members to use in their local markets to increase awareness about careers in rental and attract new candidates to the industry.
ARA’s new Rental Recruitment Kits include multiple customizable design files that members can download and easily add their logos and local info. Once customized, these resources can be used to present at local schools, hand out at career fairs, promote at regional hiring events and for online marketing.
Separate Rental Recruitment Kits have been created for both equipment and event rental operators. Each kit includes materials that owners can use to increase awareness of careers in rental, promote job openings and promote in their local market. The kits include:
Tri-fold brochure. This predesigned brochure can be customized with information about a local rental company, including company logos, details about the business, contact information and the types of jobs currently available. The brochure also highlights the benefits of choosing a career in rental and stats about the industry.
PowerPoint presentation. This presentation, specifically designed to highlight careers in rental, can be used when presenting to a classroom, job fair or hiring event. The multi-slide presentation highlights the industries that use rental and why rental should be considered a career opportunity. The presentation can be customized with a company logo and include a list of current job opportunities. It also includes a QR code linking to ARA’s student membership page.
Career in Rental flyer template. These flyers highlight rental industry statistics including average salary in the rental industry, number of rental store locations and jobs across the country and the industry’s projected revenue for 2022. The flyers can be customized with a rental company’s logo and website.
Email signature template. A “Now hiring” graphic that can be used with an email signature and linked to a company’s website.
Now Hiring flyer template. These flyers can be used to encourage job seekers to apply for an open position within a rental location. The flyers can be customized with a company’s logo, name, website and phone number.
Social media GIF template. With two templates for each segment of the industry, users can choose the background photo they like best or add their own and then customize the text, including font, color and size to match the company’s branding, and add the company logo. This animated GIF can be shared on social media to catch the attention of job seekers.
Workforce Development Programs checklist. This checklist provides a list of 10 employment sources that ARA members should focus on to become a known source
of jobs in the community or an “employer of choice.”
The Rental Recruitment Kits are designed to give ARA members the tools they need to promote careers in rental and recruit potential new employees in their community. The kits are part of a three-part effort from ARA to help assist members with workforce development.
“No. 1, we created the ARA Job Posting Portal which goes out to 20 national job boards. The portal was designed exclusively for ARA members and each night the jobs they post on the portal are pushed out to some of the biggest job portals,” says James Auerbach, ARA vice president, event segment and rental industry workforce development.
“No. 2, we need to get people more aware of careers in rental. To do that, we are doing a variety of things, but the main thing is we have a brand-new student membership. It’s a two-year membership for individuals, where they get free training, a certificate course and they get to be a candidate on the job portal where they can get recruited and hired by our members. No. 3, we’re trying to provide our members with as many resources as we can so they can go into their market armed with the tools they need. That is why the Rental Recruitment Kits were created,” says Auerbach.
The kits are complimentary for ARA members and can be accessed at ARArental.org/workforce-development-solutions. This page of the website also includes the numerous other ARA workforce resources, including:
- A link to the ARA Job Posting Portal. For a limited time, ARA members can receive five free 90-day job postings.
- Best practice documents that can help companies find, hire and retain employees.
- Customizable job description templates for equipment and event rental operators.
- Videos to communicate and define the value of working in rental to prospective employees.
- A link to ARARentalWorks.com — a site for job seekers and influencers to recruit people into the industry.
“In an extremely difficult job market, our goal is to provide resources to assist ARA members with their recruiting efforts and provide them with the tools to do so. The greatest headway we can make introducing the lucrative careers in rental is at the local level where members can take advantage of these resources and spread the word throughout their region to help attract job seekers,” Auerbach says.
“What used to be recruiting as needed has become a 24/7, 365 days a year effort for most employers searching for the staff they need. You have to get creative to find people and explore all available opportunities. Recruiting, retaining and training has to become part of the daily operations for every business,” Auerbach says.
To take advantage of the five job postings on the ARA Job Posting Portal or for any workforce development questions, contact Erika Singleton, ARA rental industry workforce development manager at 309-277-4223 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Ashleigh Petersen