The Biden administration arranges trucking worker programs targeting women and young drivers. On Nov. 15, 2021, the $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) was enacted into law with provisions that address the shortage of young drivers and women in the trucking industry.
Filling the Void
Experts believe that increasing the quantity of women in the trucking industry could help solve the shortage of commercial drivers in the industry. The American Trucking Association says the shortage currently stands at 80,000 drivers. Increasing the number of drivers would eliminate supply chain bottlenecks that have led to personnel and product shortages that have contributed to inflation.
Experts state that women are underrepresented in the trucking industry. Among OTR drivers, their share is only about 10%. There are also very few twic card holders among women, although most of them meet the twic card requirements. The potential contribution of women in large and small transport companies deserves more serious consideration.
Thanks to the signed law, more attention will be paid to attracting women into the industry. It has been proven that women are more inclined to take risks and make decisions differently. And this can be advantageous when working as a driver. Moreover, studies have found that women who drive in the commercial sector are safer than men.
In today’s world everyone talks about equality and diversity. The trucking industry should not stand alone, so now is the most opportune time to have a diverse workforce. Most of the trucking companies conduct continuous recruitment of women.
Removing the barriers that prevent women from pursuing careers in trucking is critical. Increasing employment opportunities for women will lead to greater economic security for working families. And increasing the quantity of women truckers will help strengthen supply chains and reduce costs for consumers and businesses.
White House officials describe the role of the Women in Trucking Advisory Council as reporting and analysis on the challenges faced by women drivers and those interested in starting careers in the industry. Among these challenges are quality training, safety risks in the workplace and opportunities for career advancement.
The Women in Trucking Council has been endorsed by all stakeholders, including ATA and the Independent Drivers Association.
ATA chapters have praised the administration’s engagement with the trucking industry and its support of a broad approach to workforce development since the IIJA was adopted.
Recruiting young drivers
In addition to the provision for female drivers, the Infrastructure Act also included an apprenticeship program that would allow truck drivers under age 21 to drive commercial vehicles interstate. Federal law now prohibits such operations.
The FMCSA is in the process of assessing the eligibility of motor carriers for a so-called young safe driver training program. Proponents of employment programs believe the new infrastructure law will help open up opportunities for the entire workforce, as it allows private and public sector stakeholders to recruit additional workers for different jobs like freight and truck driver jobs.
From inviting ATA to the White House and the U.S. Department of Labor to discuss apprenticeships to participating in the administration’s Veterans Affairs Task Force, ATA has been actively working on the provisions of the Workforce Act. This includes the imminent creation of the Women in Trucking Advisory Council and the soon to be released start of a pilot safe driving training program for young drivers. These programs certainly take some time to get up to speed, and the ATA supports efforts to act as expeditiously as possible to improve the domestic supply chain.
The issue of apprenticeships was brought up at a Senate hearing on June 8. FMCSA is working hard on a program to train safe drivers under the age of 21. FMCSA is working closely with American Trucking Associations and other organizations. The organization is on track to start accepting young drivers, along with all the safety provisions that are included in this program. They are on track to start this program in the early fall.
Senator Todd Young, a member of the Commerce Committee, has led the sponsorship of a safe-driving education program for young drivers under the age of 21. According to White House officials, the safe-driving training program is designed to provide safe employment for American adults under the age of 21 in well-paying jobs in the trucking industry. And for the trucking companies that involves in goods or fuel transport, it is advisable to get the services of a freight factoring company to get faster payment and be able to provide well the deserve salary of their drivers.
The program will help address the driver shortage, provide new career opportunities for young Hoosiers and other Americans, and help make roads safer – all in one training program.
We need to understand the importance of the nation’s logistics and transportation industries and how drivers handled the tasks of providing services during the pandemic.
They delivered medicine, equipment, and other necessary supplies across the country. It was a stark reminder to the American public that our truck drivers, along with railroads, freight airlines and automakers, continue to provide critical services. And it underscores that we must support these vital industries.