LOUISVILLE, KY. In an effort to curb the driver shortage and create immediate jobs for transitioning military personnel, the U.S Chamber of Commerce Foundation's Hiring Our Heroes Program (HOH), Kenworth, and FASTPORT have come together to award a fully-loaded T680 to a deserving veteran who enters the trucking industry.
The search for America’s top military rookie driver is designed to educate veterans about the job done by the nation’s 3.5 million professional truck drivers—and provide a head start to one deserving veteran's entrepreneurial career, program officials explained at the Mid-America Trucking Show here.
“Try to find another industry that’s giving away a golden ticket for that young veteran and family,” said Eric Eversole, president of the HOH program. “I come from a long line of truckers, and we’ve worked very hard to sell the great story of economic opportunity of this industry. We’re changing the away that Americans, service members and their families look at trucking.”
Already, 16,000 veterans have transitioned into the industry, he noted, and added that the retention rate is much higher than that of other new drivers.
To be eligible to win the Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence Award, candidates must meet all of the following criteria:
- First, nominees must be a military veteran or have served or currently serve in the National Guard or Reserve.
- Second, they must have graduated from either a PTDI-certified, or NAPFTDS or CVTA member driver training school and have a valid CDL.
- Third, they must have been employed by a trucking company who has made a hiring commitment and pledge to hire veterans on truckingtrack.org.
Nominations will be accepted from May 2 through June 30. Finalists will be notified July 22 and recognized at the Great American Trucking Show (GATS) in August.
On Sept. 25, finalists' video profiles will be posted to Hiring America’s website where the general public will vote for their favorite finalist. The votes will be tallied a Veterans’ Day with a Pentagon award ceremony planned for Dec. 16.