Fast Forward is a nonprofit with grants to support people experiencing homelessness and those at risk with training and employment services in the Midlands of South Carolina. They offer computer literacy and independent technology training classes, work with partners for National certifications, and provide participants with the resources necessary to further gainful employment.
Fast Forward works with hundreds of people annually, helping them with training and employment. Program Director, Brenna Bernardin, believes OSHA training fits almost every workplace and safety is a transferable skill. Bernardin adds, "Safety culture reflects the attitudes, beliefs, and values that employees share regarding safety and shows the commitment of the employer to promote safety values. Companies with strong safety cultures share their beliefs from management to employees and everyone benefits."
From restaurants to warehouses, driving to landscaping, OSHAcademy training helps Fast Forward participants rise above their competition when applying and interviewing for a safety position. "The flexibility and accessibility of training are perfect, allowing individuals the opportunity to work towards certifications on their time and speed," Bernardin says. Fast Forward participants have attended open interviews for large-scale retail, outdoor recreation, and warehouses. The interviewer asks who has certifications for the job, specifically who has OSHA training. Bernardin added that it is a major leg up to walk into an interview with the OSHAcademy certificates and walk out with a job offer.
When many Fast Forward clients think of OSHA, they tend to immediately think of warehouse or forklift safety. Bernardin says when they show participants OSHAcademy's website, they start to realize just how safety training actually touches every industry. Many clients receive their certificates for the 10-hour General Industry: Warehouse Safety program, 10-hour Construction Safety and Health program, and 10-hour General Industry Safety and Health program. Bernardin says as clients start their OSHAcademy training, they realize the value as well as the convenience of online training.
Student Testimony: Henry Smith
OSHA reduces work-related injury and provides a better understanding of workplace hazards. Companies like to see that people applying for jobs have their certifications. Fast Forward client Henry Smith says OSHAcademy is a good thing to add to your resume and adds work opportunities. Classes are online and flexible and can be completed anywhere.
Smith says, "For someone just starting with OSHAcademy, don’t get frustrated. Take a break, especially if you’re trying to do multiple classes in one day. I recommend fire prevention classes. It’s good for every job as fire hazards are everywhere."
Smith has completed 18 OSHAcademy programs, including the 132-hour Occupational Safety and Health Professional and the 233-hour Oil and Gas Safety and Health Professional. In total, he’s completed 84 OSHAcademy classes.
OSHAcademy would like to recognize Fast Forward for their continued efforts toward workplace safety and health.