ITI is the world's leading crane, rigging, and load handling training provider in large part because of the unique backgrounds and experience of its team members. Don't believe me? I want to make a believer out of you by sharing the conversation I had with ITI Senior Instructor Jim Cox (2011 Professional Top Trainer of the Year), about his experience in the industry, his training travels, and why he wants to make believer out of his students.
Amanda Henry: Can you tell me a little about yourself?
Jim Cox: I was born in Glenwood Springs, Colorado and spent most of my growing up years in eastern Oregon, and graduated from college in California in 1981. I have always been involved in helping people all my life, as I was the youngest of a family of four. My dad has been a pastor all of his life.
I started working in a rigging shop very early in my career and I've worked in the crane, rigging, and logging industries all my life.
AH: Can you give me background from your college years?
JC: I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Theology from the Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College. This experience provided a strong platform on how to learn, communicate and that probably speaks a lot to what makes my core values so strong.
AH: What made you want to go into the rigging industry?
JC: Initially, it was because it was a great way to feed my family. Working in the logging industry naturally lead to working with wire rope, suspension lines, splicing wire, and fabricating lifting assemblies from a wide variety of materials. These skills opened the door to working with cranes; inspecting, repairing, installing cranes and sharing with people how to be successful operating overhead cranes.
AH: So, why did you decide to make that leap to become an instructor with ITI?
JC: I found myself at the end of almost 26 years working for the same crane and rigging supplier. During this time, I had benefited greatly from training provided by Mike Parnell and his team. I was looking for an avenue to work directly with people to influence the change of beliefs that in turn changed behavior.
I have a passion for people and helping people, and that's what I love about being a trainer. When you work with a student for 16 to 32 hours, you get to know and respect each other. It is a very rewarding shared experience as we collectively learn from each other. I guess my real passion would be to present information so that people chose to make a change because of what they believe, instead of external pressure. They're doing it because it's self-driven. It's a belief in them that what we teach will provide a better life.
AH: Where have you traveled to since being an instructor with ITI?
JC: It's easier to tell you where I haven't been. I haven't been to North Dakota, Vermont, or Rhode Island. I've also traveled to Canada and several South American countries.
AH: Where has been your favorite place to go for training?
JC: Oh, I have been blessed to travel to many areas, but if I could I say my favorite region is the south. I lived in Chattanooga, Tennessee during my early years and I've always had a real affinity that region. but I just really loved those people. They're the salt of the earth and their food is phenomenal. Building long term relationships is very important to me.
AH: Is there anywhere that you want to check off your list to travel to as a trainer with ITI?
JC: Europe or somewhere on the other side of the world.
AH: Is there anything that you hope to accomplish during the remainder of your career in this industry?
JC: Well, my hope is the work I've been privileged to do with ITI would have a legacy effect and that it would carry on. ROI or "Return on Instruction" is the phrase fellow trainer Michael Johnson shared that comes to mind when we see the result of training that has changed their beliefs. To leave a legacy of a servant heart.