Webinar Q&A: “Driving the Next Generation Into Trucking”

Did you have a chance to attend our recent webinar, “Driving the Next Generation Into Trucking?” We received more questions than we had time to answer in the allotted time, so Jeremy Reymer, Founder & CEO of DriverReach, and Lindsey Trent and Dave Dein, Co-Founders of The Next Generation in Trucking, answered them below in this Q&A-style blog post.

If you weren’t able to join the webinar live, don’t worry – you can watch it on-demand anytime!

Question: Can you help carriers with their recruiting through Next Gen?

Answer: Yes!  We will have a job board on our website but our main focus is curing the problem and not just the symptom. The root of the problem we are trying to fix is that young people are not introduced to the trucking industry. They either come to the trucking industry later in life or not at all. We are trying to get the attention of the next generation so that there will be a pipeline of skilled workers for the trucking industry and in order to do that we have to get their attention in middle and high school. (Lindsey)

We are working with states, high schools, technical colleges and private schools to help establish career pathways. We are also close to getting a nationally registered apprenticeship program. Whether a young person is 18 or 24 we need to figure out how to get them to work in our industry. They might be able to work immediately for some companies in different capacities but we as an industry need to figure out how to create those pathways for young talent.

Question: In Dave’s initial group, what did they do in the interim between graduating his class and turning 21?

Answer: As we have built strong relationships with industry partners, we are able to offer graduates a wide variety of entry level positions both in CDL and non-CDL roles. We do have carriers that are able to provide intrastate driving positions in both the agricultural and construction sectors. Other of our industry partners have created career paths that lead to CDL positions once the employee has reached 21 years old. Some of these positions offered to our students have been yard holster, Class C final mile driver, fueler/washer, dock worker, and ELD technician. (Dave)

One of the great things about the trucking industry is that young people can stay within their communities and make a living wage. There are companies out there that can hire drivers less than 21 years of age with no experience. Next Gen is working on a survey to put out to the industry trying to find those companies that can hire young drivers with no experience. Our hope is that with the robust program that Dave has created and with all of the experience his students receive in high school and then through their behind the wheel training with the driving school that those students are going to be thoroughly prepared for their future in trucking. (Lindsey)

Question: Can you share Lindsey’s email address?

Answer: You can contact Lindsey at: Lindsey_Trent@ryder.com

Question: Do you work with the Women in Trucking Association? Seems like a lot of parallel goals?

Answer: When we launched the Patterson High School program in 2017, one of the first things we did was to join the Women in Trucking Association (WIT). As an educator my main goal is to meet the needs of all my students and I knew, as a male teacher, I could only do so much in connecting and empowering my female students. WIT not only provides that support, but it provides role models within the industry for female students to aspire to be like. The Next Generation in Trucking Association fully supports the efforts of WIT and we are excited to explore shared synergies as we inspire the youth of America. (Dave)

Women in Trucking is an amazing organization and has inspired us with their mission. Ellen Voie has been supportive of our mission. We have had many conversations with WIT and I am one of Kellylynn McLaughlin’s (Driver Ambassador) biggest fans! I attended their Accelerate! Conference in 2020 and hope to continue supporting their organization. (Lindsey)

Question: Have you reached out to the Trucker Buddy program? Could be a good alliance...

Answer: I have had conversations with their Executive Director Alan Welborn. They are doing great things reaching young kids. CSCMP is also starting a program reaching young kids through Junior Achievement. It is going to take the entire industry to come together to reach the next generation for the trucking industry.

Question: One challenge we face is the 2 year minimum experience for insurance. How does or will this impact requirements like this?

Answer: Although there may be age and experience constraints set by the insurance companies prohibiting under 21 years old CDL positions we also know that if we don't create alternative career paths that we are going to lose a large portion of this population to other industries. The investment in these students will require a shift in business models, but it will also open up the door to a consistent pipeline of young, well trained talent. (Dave)

It is about relationships and brand recognition. Schools have advisory boards and on those boards not everyone can hire a graduate of the program immediately. But, what if they knew about your company? What if you formed a relationship with them when they were younger? What if they took a tour of your facility or heard you speak to their classroom? You might not be able to utilize them right away but if they get that 2 years of experience that you require, maybe when they go to get their next job you will be the first one on their list. The industry is going to have to start putting an emphasis on skilled technical education, but I promise getting to know these teachers and young talent is inspiring and will leave you with hope in the future. (Lindsey)

Question: Do you gather ideas for possible job title suggestions in order to align young people into the industry more? For example, CV pilot vs truck driver. 

Answer: I have not heard of that but love that idea!

Stay up to date on CDL trucking trends! Be sure to check out the DriverReach blog for other relevant articles and head over to our webinars page for an up-to-date list of upcoming events and on-demand recordings.

Listen to Taking the Hire Road podcast, hosted by Jeremy Reymer and in collaboration with FreightWaves, for timely conversations with industry experts. For more information, or to join a live group demo, visit www.driverreach.com/livedemo


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