Association Proposes Joint Educational Training Programs

Employee training is so important for all carriers that the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) is urging the industry to become involved in a TCA drive to expand educational programs, said Lana Batts, TCA president.

TCA wants the National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC) to join with it in forming an academy that would offer courses designed to target various jobs. With the joint effort, training material and session duplications would be eliminated, and resources could be combined.

"This is going to set us up for the next century," said Batts. She discussed the subject at the annual NTTC meeting May 16-18 in Atlanta, Georgia.

All types of trucking companies have several educational concerns in common. She listed training, management improvement, recruitment, retention, shipper delays, and the use of technology. The academy could address all of those, offering various training courses and other services, she said.

Carriers have indicated an interest in obtaining certification for trainers. TCA currently certifies training schools and could institute a process to certify a company's program that prepares instructors.

Added to training the trainers, the academy could provide many various courses, including management for the future business environment that would target presidents and chief executive officers. Courses could be specified for small companies; senior, mid, and entry-level managers; recruiters; dispatchers; and customer service employees.

Batts predicted that new rules for obtaining a commercial driver license will be a catalyst for new and specific training.

Family-owned companies could benefit from courses on inheritance issues. Drivers could receive information about how to balance life while on the road. Employees without a high school diploma could achieve a GED. Professional training could lead not only to improving the quality of workers' performance, but to their advancement within the company.

Because the TCA has a certification program in force, it would be able to expand services with the help from other industry representatives. She proposed that an academy board of directors be formed that would be made up of industry representatives who would oversee the academy's programs.

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