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Students take over The ARA Show floor for workforce development day

By Lauren Mau

February 25, 2024

Bringing the momentum from last year’s successful workforce development day, the American Rental Association (ARA) welcomed more than 300 technical school, high school and college students to the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans to learn about the equipment rental industry.

This year’s program included a networking event with the sponsors of the event – Herc Rentals, United Rentals, CAT Rents, Sunstate Equipment and Sunbelt Rentals. During the networking time, students and educators visited each table to learn more about career opportunities in rental and company culture, and students asked questions about what makes a good candidate.

Then, ARA members and staff led guided tours of The ARA Show™ floor where students were able to see equipment and learn from manufacturers about emerging technologies built into new equipment and how their education is applicable. The excitement was palpable as this group of students saw their potential futures in rental.

“Student day is just incredible,” says Josh Nickell, ARA vice president of workforce development. “The look on students’ faces when we take them on The ARA Show tour is priceless. They really understand the power and scope of the industry after experiencing it firsthand. It’s an exciting opportunity for us to solidify how amazing a career in rental can be and how much potential exists in the industry. We

created an amazing production for them with education, food and entertainment. That wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of the event by our Large Rental Company Committee members who sponsor the event.”

Students were encouraged to lean in to their inherited and learned traits that make them “Born for Rental.”

“We used the energy we had from our 2023 program as fuel to help us drive our planning and execution for workforce development day this year,” says Erika Singleton, ARA director of workforce development. “With our new ‘Born for This’ campaign, students could clearly see how their skills can potentially translate to a career in rental, and it was so exciting to see.”

The students felt the same.

“I learned that this industry is making a lot of new machines with new technology,” says Ian Sterling, Delores Taylor Young School for Young Men. “When I turn 18 this is definitely a place [industry] that I’d want to work in.”