Fair game

When it comes to fostering ways to combat the longhaul-driver shortage issue, the Truckload Carriers Assn. (TCA) easily stands heads and shoulders over any other professional organization in trucking. The latest example is TCA's first-ever Driver Job Fair, which will be held in conjunction with the group's annual meeting next month to give as many of its member carriers as possible the opportunity

When it comes to fostering ways to combat the longhaul-driver shortage issue, the Truckload Carriers Assn. (TCA) easily stands heads and shoulders over any other professional organization in trucking.

The latest example is TCA's first-ever Driver Job Fair, which will be held in conjunction with the group's annual meeting next month to give as many of its member carriers as possible the opportunity to recruit new drivers.

The event will take place on Tuesday April 10, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center in San Antonio, Tex.

The job fair is another project spearheaded by TCA's very active Driver Recruitment and Retention Management Panel, which is chaired by Ronnie Dowdy, president of Batesville, Ark.-based Ronnie Dowdy Inc.

Dowdy says the event is simply the case of something whose time has come. The industry's traditional source of drivers can no longer meet our needs and it was time for us to recognize that fact, he points out.

We can't keep going back to the same well as we have been doing for so many years, Dowdy continues. Now, it's up to us carriers to take advantage of and benefit from the opportunity by signing up to participate in the job fair.

Besides being a first-ever TCA event, the job fair is also distinguished as the first project to come out of TCA's newly formed partnership with the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), a national Latino/Hispanic organization.

TCA says the partnership aims to create and promote employment and skill-development opportunities that will be of mutual benefit to the Latino/Hispanic community and truckload carriers.

Dowdy notes that he is excited about the relationship TCA is forging with La Raza and the potential pool of drivers as well as other resources and opportunities which it can bring to us in the future.

The job fair was organized at a meeting held in early February that brought TCA staff together with representatives of NCLR.

Also involved in putting on the fair is SER Job for Progress Inc., which provides employment services through the San Antonio-based Texas Workforce Center (TWC). The organization is a one-stop shop that offers employment and training services to both job seekers and businesses seeking employees.

The fair is being promoted throughout the San Antonio area via community outreach programs and through local advertising being placed in various print media and on the radio.

Obviously, a lot of thought and effort is going into this project. Besides helping TCA members find drivers, the job fair can serve as an excellent model for how other trucking constituencies can reach out to various local communities to tap new wells of potential employees.

TCA tells us space is limited for carriers to participate in the job fair. For more information on this groundbreaking program, contact TCA's Peggy Campione by phoning 703-838-8888 or e-mailing [email protected] .

Money talks: The American Trucking Assns. (ATA) has released the 2000 edition of its Driver Compensation Study. The report reveals that the typical truck driver (whoever that is) earned an average of $40,883 in salary last year.

ATA says that amounts to an increase of more than $5,400 or 15.3% from three years ago. The study, which was built on responses from 316 trucking companies, can be purchased from ATA. For more details, visit ATA's web site, www.truckline.com.

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