“Rick is a natural fit for this award,” said Frank Nerenhausen, Oshkosh Corporation executive vice president and president, JLG Industries. “He continually looks for, then develops innovative ways to improve JLG’s training offering with a focus on improving industry-wide safety.”

Smith’s nomination cited his leadership of a team that developed operator training programs and a new Train-the-Trainer program, which blends four weeks of asynchronous online training with three days of onsite training at the new JLG training center in McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania. He was also instrumental in creating the hands-on training area and proving grounds, which provide a safe environment where participants can apply theory learned in the classroom.

Additionally, the five-member panel of judges learned Smith played an instrumental role in developing the company’s lift and access equipment virtual training simulator, which was on display at CONEXPO 2017. The simulator employs advanced gamification learning, similar to a video game experience, to familiarize operators with the controls and operations of boom lifts and telehandlers. He also launched AccessReady, a portal connecting potential mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) operators with qualified instructors and evaluators in their area.

In addition, the nomination form highlighted Smith’s membership in a number of professional organizations, including the ANSI A92.24 MEWP Training Standard subcommittee, ANSI A92.22 MEWP Safe Use subcommittee, ISO working group (ISO WG2), and IPAF North American region council, as well as his being published in several magazines this year as an industry expert.

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