New Space Offers New Opportunities

By Alex Subak, School Director, ACRT Arborist Training

ACRT Services, a nationwide utility service consulting firm offering expert, independent consulting solutions to utilities and associated organizations throughout the United States, including vegetation management consultation and training, customized safety courses, technology solutions, and utility metering services, recently completed our relocation to a new corporate headquarters in Stow, Ohio. Our new space provides us with an additional 9,000 square feet of space for our growing organization.

ACRT, a division of ACRT Services, focusing on vegetation management services, also has oversight of ACRT Arborist Training — a sub-brand that provides entry-level through advanced arborist classes and certifications for line clearance companies, government agencies, tree care companies, municipalities, and individuals around the nation. ACRT Arborist Training offers classes and workshops year-round, with training typically occurring on-site. Our new space supports the continued growth of our training division and opens the door for more students to receive training on-site than was possible at our prior location.

On April 1st, 2019, ACRT Arborist Training held the inaugural training class at our new headquarters. The training class was a Basic Arborist workshop where instructor Luke Sidey taught a variety of topics including introductory tree biology, knots used in tree work, entry-level climbing techniques and safety standards from the ANSI Z133 among many other subjects.

While most of the training classes we provide are private workshops for organizations across the country, we recognize that individuals need an opportunity to complete the training that employers and OSHA require. Our instructors spend most of their time on the road from California to New York, but they always enjoy the chance to come in to the corporate office and provide training for individuals who need it.

Even though we have had to adapt to the challenges of moving an entire operation to a new space, the environment we are using now offers much more room for the instructors and students to work in the classroom, or the field. Say the instructor makes a comment about tree identification; a student asks a question and the entire class could walk outside to see a real-life example of what was being discussed. We also have a local city park that provides us access to their grounds for training purposes, giving us a variety of trees to practice climbing.          

The classroom itself is bigger, and in this case bigger is better. With two large television monitors at the front of the room, students can follow along with the instructor’s presentation. Sometimes that is a knot tying diagram that the students will study and then be tested on, other times it is a safety video that is a sobering reminder of the inherent danger of tree work. In another case, students can diagram their own understanding of electric generation in the line clearance course by using both our glass board or white board at the front or back of the room, giving the classroom a dynamic and student-centered feel. 

Despite being in a new place, the ACRT Arborist Training principles remain the same; we provide industry-leading arborist training to individuals and companies in an effort to promote safety and education. Tree work can be dangerous and ensuring that a greater number of arborists have the training they need to get home to their families is on the forefront of our instructor’s minds. Students, especially those in the Basic Arborist course, are largely self-funded and interested in getting into an industry that they are passionate about. By the end of the class, the vast majority of students state how much they didn’t even know they were missing about the industry. They report feeling equipped to do the tree work they had in mind and energized to pass on the safety focus our instructors instill in them.    

The new training space is finally allowing us to schedule more classes for individuals at our location than ever before. We are pleased to announce that our Advanced Arborist course has been added to the schedule. Keep an eye on the ACRT Arborist Training website for the addition of new course offerings. It is important to keep the safety, education, and training conversation going. Be sure to reach out with any questions. To learn more about ACRT Arborist Training, visit, training.acrt.com.

Alex Subak holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and History, a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), and a teaching certificate from Kent State University. Alex has been with the Arborist Training department of ACRT since 2018.