Skip to main content


It’s no secret there’s a labor shortage in some of the skilled trades. Addressing that scarcity is essential to Barnhart CEO Alan Barnhart.  

Inspired by a powerline training program he saw in Georgia, Barnhart wondered if a similar program could be successful in the crane industry. In an article in, he shared his epiphany, “We should just start a school from scratch.” He and others started a non-profit organization to do that.

The program is called Crewtek, powered by Industrial Training International (ITI). Its mission is to recruit, prepare and place the next generation of skilled workers for the crane, rigging and related industries. Barnhart partnered with Zack Parnell, president of Industrial Training International and ProLift Rigging to create the program.

The courses are offered at two campuses in Houston, Texas and Woodland, Washington near existing ITI locations. Classes in Woodland begin November 6 and Houston will open after the first of the year. The Woodland location accommodates up to 180 trainees. Houston will have room for 360. Other locations are in the works.

Training the Whole Person

The eight-week course provides hand-on training that focuses on the whole person. Students will learn the technical skills that will accelerate them into a career in crane operations, rigging and related lifting and transportation crafts. Additionally, life skills essential to success at work and in life are provided. Money management and leadership skills are part of the curriculum. 

Besides utilizing the latest in virtual reality technology for training, Crewtek will harness the capabilities of several advanced recruitment platforms.

“One thing we’re going to try and do really well is connect employers to the curriculum and talent,” said Parnell. “In other words, making sure the outgoing student is a perfect fit for them.”

Upon completion of the course, graduates are prepared to test for licenses and certificates needed to get a job. Crewtek will assist with placement through its relationships with more than 500 potential employers. These positions offer excellent earning potential. For example, entry level pay for some jobs can range from $25-$35 per hour.

For more information on Crewtek programs, visit