In an effort to curb the driver shortage, and create immediate jobs for military personnel transitioning into civilian life, Kenworth, FASTPORT and the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) have come together to promote the industry.
As part of the program, FASTPORT and its trucking track partners will attend job fairs on military bases throughout the country during this year and 2016. Fort Benning held the first fair on Aug. 17, and it was dedicated solely to the trucking industry. Twenty-seven employers attended the event with more than 1,000 available driving jobs offered. Panel discussions were held to educate prospective drivers on what to expect in the trucking industry. The fair gave soldiers the chance to explore trucking equipment including tractors, trailers, a mobile mechanic shop and a truck-driving simulator.
Taking center stage at the fair was a Kenworth T680. A truck giveaway was also announced at Fort Benning. To help recognize military veterans who enter trucking as drivers – through Hiring Our Heroes and FASTPORT’s Trucking Track Mentoring Program – Kenworth will give away a fully-loaded 2016 T680 with a PACCAR MX-13 engine to “America’s Top Veteran Rookie Driver.” Criteria for the contest will be announced soon by TCA.
“We’re very pleased to be participating with FASTPORT and TCA to bring trucking to the forefront with returning veterans,” said Jason Skoog, Kenworth’s assistant general manager for sales and marketing. “There are great driving, and ultimately career opportunities, in trucking and we wanted to lend our support to the effort. By having the Kenworth T680 at these job fairs – and ultimately awarding it to a very deserving veteran – we can showcase how truck technology has changed. The comfort and amenities in today’s truck is a stark difference from just five years ago, and we want to show our military veterans that driving a truck can be a comfortable and attractive occupation.”
According to Bill McLennan, CEO of FASTPORT, an estimated 15,000 veterans transition into civilian life each month.
“They are hard-wired for success in trucking,” he said. “They already work for the largest, most complex supply chain and logistic company - our military. Veterans are mission oriented, understand the value of training, are used to working in changing environments, know how to lead and make decisions, and they do this with a focus on safety. All these capabilities are why veterans can have a very successful career in the trucking industry.”
“We’re excited to have Kenworth in our outreach partnership,” said Brad Bentley, president of the TCA. “The Fort Benning event was the perfect place to announce this terrific award program. We think the Kenworth T680 will help inspire veterans as it showcases the incredible technology we have in the trucking industry.”
“Without a doubt, every veteran who has ridden in a military truck will be amazed by the T680,” McLennan added. “It’s why so many trucking companies offer premium equipment to recruit and retain drivers in the current competitive climate, and why we enlisted Kenworth to provide the industry-leading Kenworth T680 as our showpiece.”