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NEWS RELEASE: “Olympics” event helps students explore high-demand manufacturing careers

Michigan Business Network
October 8, 2019 10:00 AM

Release provided by Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO)

ALLENDALE, Mich. — Star Crane and Hoist hosted its annual Olympics aimed at helping students explore career opportunities in manufacturing.

The family-owned business makes, sells, services, installs and repairs cranes and hoists. The company has hosted local high school students to participate in its Star Crane Olympics event, which puts student skills to the test during a crane and maneuvering obstacle course, for several years to expose students to careers in manufacturing.

The freshmen and sophomores from Allendale High School competed for the top prize — unlimited bragging rights. 


Brandon Holstege, a sophomore at Allendale High School, learns how to operate a crane during Manufacturing Week at Star Crane and Hoist.

“Getting the chance to operate a crane and learn more about the maintenance and electrical side of the job was a cool experience. I had a great time,” sophomore Brandon Holstege said. “I’m exploring my options and looking at applying to the career and technical education program in the future because a manufacturing career may be the right fit for me.”

With over 200 events happening around the state during Michigan Manufacturing Week, the Allendale-based company and Going PRO Talent Fund grant recipient opened its door to 30  high school students to showcase what careers are available in manufacturing at the facility.  

Michigan has more than 11,386 unique manufacturing firms, which account for 635,500 jobs and contributes $98.64 billion into the global economy annually, proving the significant role manufacturing plays in Michigan’s continued economic triumphs.  

“We’ve established great partnerships in the community with groups such as West Michigan Works! and the Allendale Chamber of Commerce that help make this event a success,” said Craig Derks, CEO, Star Crane and Hoist, Inc. “The career opportunities are plentiful within the company, and with the intent of providing a fun experience to young talent, we’ve been able to build a pathway to help fill our openings.”

While the Star Crane Olympics turns out to be a quick introduction into crane maintenance and fabrication jobs, the program has seen success with offering an in-depth, hands on summer co-op to students interested in learning more about the available highly skilled positions within the company. 

To learn more about Manufacturing Day and statewide events, visit mfgday.com. For additional information on manufacturing careers in Michigan, visit going-pro.com/mfgweek.

Additional photos from the event can be found here: flic.kr/s/aHsmHpQPPh


About Star Crane and Hoist

Star Crane and Hoist, Inc. was founded in western Michigan in 1985 as a family owned business, by Larry Derks who had over 20 years of crane experience and a vison to create a one-stop-shop for customers crane and hoist sale, service and repair needs. Today the headquarters is in Allendale, Michigan that houses sales, service and fabrication operations and expands to 13 service locations in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Colorado and Kentucky. Additional information about the company and their job openings can be found on their website at onecranesource.com.

Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) provides the connections, expertise and innovative solutions to drive continued business growth, build vibrant communities, create affordable housing, generate tourism and attract and retain key talent to fill Michigan’s vast pipeline of opportunities.

Learn more about LEO at www.michigan.gov/LEO.


Michigan Business Network is an online broadcasting company that provides knowledge, news, and insights into Michigan’s businesses, industries, and economy.