Marines Use Forklifts to Pay Forward

Dec. 17, 2012
Marines plus forklifts equal Toys for Tots this Christmas.

As a result of Toyota Material Handling’s “Giving Veterans a Lift” program, one of its dealers, Toyota Lift of Minnesota, recently trained 10 Marines of the unit MWSS471 to become certified forklift operators. These individuals are applying their new skills on the job and in their community, including operating forklifts to transport and handle the collected donations for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation based out of the Minneapolis distribution center. In 2011 Marines and other Toys for Tots volunteers distributed more than 15.6 million toys nationally to more than 7.2 million children in need.

"It is powerful to see the effect that the job training program is having on the community,´ said Jeff Rufener, president of TMHU. “These veterans have not only learned a new skill, but have also taken the extra measure to ‘pay it forward,’” said Jeff Rufener, president of TMHU.

The  “Giving Veterans a Lift” program was designed with two elements: 1) an operator safety training discount program to help veterans learn a new job skill and find employment; and 2) a service technician program to help dealers recruit qualified service technicians while providing veterans with employment.

This program is available through December 31, 2013 via Toyota’s network of participating dealers and offers veterans a $200 discount on the training. This is the same training the marines went through to learn how to operate lift trucks.

Veterans also are encouraged to apply for Toyota Industrial Equipment (TIE) dealership service technician career opportunities at For every veteran hired by a TIE dealer as a service technician, TMHU will match a dealer’s donation (up to $500) to Hire Heroes USA, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating job opportunities for U.S. military transitioning service members, veterans and their spouses.

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