A couple of solutions have been proposed in the ongoing debate involving driver shortages. One suggestion, in particular, is whether or not to allow teenagers to become truck drivers. As part of that debate, legislation that rolls back the age limit for young drivers was submitted to the legislature for consideration.
According to Bloomberg News, Congress has reviewed the proposed program involving lowering the driving age and has agreed to allow younger adults to drive commercial trucks, but it will be part of a scaled-back pilot program with the following stipulation: “Only military veterans with truck-driving training will participate.”
Bill Graves, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Trucking Assocation, said, “It’s good news that Congress has created an opportunity for young veterans to transition to the trucking industry. We believe it is illogical to allow these younger drivers to operate intrastate commerce in each of the 48 contiguous states, but not let them cross state borders.”
The pilot program is part of a 5-year, $305 billion highway bill, that includes reviving the Export-Import Bank and funding $280 billion in road, bridges, and mass transit projects. According to online reports, it is the first U.S. highway measure in a decade to last longer than two years.
The program allowing 18 to 21 year-olds to drive trucks is one of the many non-infrastructure provisions attached to the 5-year bill that will impact the trucking industry. It is supported by a number of national initiatives to help military veterans find gainful employment following service.
One program, in particular, called, “Hiring Our Heroes,” sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, was launched in March 2011. It is a nationwide initiative to help veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses find meaningful employment opportunities. The program, in conjunction with the American Trucking Association, made a declaration last year at Christmas that member companies of the ATA will hire 100,000 military veterans over the next two years.
Military veterans bring desirable attributes to the field such as leadership skills, dependability, loyalty, teamwork, attention to deadlines and detail, and more. They can be trusted and have proven expertise. As noted in a variety of online articles, the decision to hire veterans is a two-way street. They help alleviate the industry’s driver shortage. In return, the trucking industry can help thousands of uniquely qualified workers find new careers that they love.
As noted in an article by Transport Topics, “Many returning vets have extensive experience operating trucks and buses.” It makes good sense to connect them with real world opportunities where they can utiilize and be rewarded for those skills. Of course, younger veterans still have stipulations on the type of materials they can transport. It is, however, an encouraging step toward transitioning military veterans into viable, rewarding civilian careers.
At Millis Transfer, we are military-friendly, family-oriented, and driver-supportive. If you are ready to make the transition from military service to a career with all the driver benefits you could want and more, then it is time to look into our available employment opportunities.
Mills Transfer, Getting It There Since 1936, has an impressive service record earning the company dozens of “Carrier of the Year” awards. Headquartered in Black River Falls, Wis., Millis is also a Certified Top Pay Carrier with some of the best equipment on the road. Maintenance facilities and drop yards are strategically located throughout the company’s operating area. Its sister company, Millis Training Institute, offers five school locations that provide students with quality training in order to earn their CDL-A license. For more information, please visit www.millistransfer.com, www.mtidriving.com or call 1-800-937-0880.