Times Bulletin: Trucking: A community addressing a shortage

With the start of summer, comes the planning of barbeques, water sports and road trips to spend time with family and friends. Tying your summer fun to how those deliveries arrive to your home or business is not typically top of mind, but making those special summer days happen is due in large part to the trucking industry. In fact, most people don’t know that the trucking industry, from drivers to technicians to vendors and partners, serves 80 percent of America’s communities.

Trucking is essential to our daily lives here in Ohio. It doesn’t just keep our communities supplied, it also keeps our economy and country moving forward. But, as the economy strengthens, and demand within the industry grows, the struggle to find qualified drivers in our industry is a significant challenge. The trucking industry has been facing a driver and technician shortage, with the American Trucking Associations (ATA) reporting an industry shortage of more than 50,000 drivers. Without truck drivers on our roads, our economy and daily lives would be so disrupted, that operations would literally shut down, which is why it’s critical that we address the job shortage.

The fact is there are so many diverse jobs available for truck drivers. Flatbed, refrigerated, less than truckload (LTL) or truckload, are just a few examples of the many job opportunities available. These are jobs that offer great starting salaries and benefits, and provide the training needed to jumpstart a career. Thankfully, education starts early in some states with high schools talking about truck driver training programs and the opportunities available to them after graduation. When teens are taught about trucking career options, it has benefits for both the industry, by planting the seed early to fill the job pipeline, and for the student, offering them important choices.

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