An attending Human Resources Manager of local truck driving agency stated that the number of applicants who applied but failed the drug tests and/or background checks was astounding. His main concern was finding talent that he could hire. According to state law, commercial truck drivers must be 21 years of age. He had plenty of applicants but due to drug and mischief, he stated they just can’t hire a lot of people. He went on to state that recorded offenses that showed up on a majority background checks seem to occur between the ages of 18 and 21.
What struck me as I sat there listening to the issues that we have all heard regarding the enormous skills gap in America, was who was NOT at the table. The one entity that was not present in the discussion that could have had a voice, that could have had the answer to this major problem plaguing our local industry, was the local High School CTE Teacher, Coordinator or Director.
I listened as long as I could before I had to say what was glowingly apparent to me. I had to let Mr. HR Truck Driver Company know that his answer actually lied in the local high school. I told him first of all, we have to make Truck Driving sexy again. We have to tell the story so that kids know they can make upwards of $100,000 a year driving trucks. We have to let them know that while they can’t drive until they are 21 that there are career options which can lead them to that Truck Driving opportunity. We have to tell them that they can use those 3 years after high school to find entry level work in the industry to learn the ins and outs of logistics and gain the skills and knowledge necessary to be well rounded and qualified before they even get behind the wheel.
We have to make those jobs accessible and the local high school can help but it will take industry partnerships to make it happen. I’m tired of taking about the problem and I’m ready to do something. If you’re someone from the education, logistics, transportation or distribution industry and you’re ready to be a part of the answer then we need to talk. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website at aquillaed.com and leave me a contact there. We have to start building partnerships now to make this work.
I’m in. Are you?