The American Trucking Associations announced during the 2017 Management Conference & Exhibition in Orlando FL that it was creating a Workforce Development Subcommittee to address the critical issue of recruiting, training, and retaining Americans to work in the trucking industry.
“We have heard about the worsening of the driver shortage, as well as the shortage of qualified diesel technicians, and the impact they have on our industry,” said ATA President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Spear. “ATA will now, through this effort, fully engage with our local, state, and federal leaders to find real solutions to these shortages. Our industry has openings today that could provide a middle class standard of living to tens of thousands of Americans--we just need to find ways to identify these people and provide them adequate training in order to put them to work building our industry’s future.”
The subcommittee will be chaired by ATA Secretary John Smith, chairman of CRST International Inc, and will be a part of ATA’s Labor and Regulatory Policy Committee.
“Attracting people to trucking should be one of our industry’s top concerns,” Smith said. “By elevating this issue within ATA, I hope we can come to the table not just to further recognize the problem, but to identify solutions.”
Among the issues this new panel will take up to address the driver and technician shortages are job training, apprenticeships, minimum age requirements for interstate drivers, age constraints relating to insurance coverage of drivers, and preparing our workforce for the jobs of the future.
“We heard several times during this Management Conference and Exhibition about the impact the shortage of workers is having on trucking,” said ATA Chairman Dave Manning, president of TCW Inc. “It is our hope that by further elevating these issues we can position ATA to address them in meaningful ways so we can continue to deliver the nation’s goods safely, securely and efficiently.”