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Transport Topics Publishes Piece Written by Smith & Solomon Staff

Friday, September 12, 2014

9/1/2014 4:00:00 AM

Opinion: Reaching Across the Aisle, Country for Jobs

By John Diab


Commercial Vehicle Training Association

The trucking industry is responsible for transporting more than 67% of the nation’s freight (by weight). Whether the freight is fresh produce, lifesaving medicines, auto parts, farm machinery or the latest tech gadget, nearly everything we buy has been hauled on a truck.

Additionally, almost 7 million people across the United States are employed in jobs that are directly or indirectly involved with trucking.

Trucking is critical to the sustainability of nearly all businesses and the U.S. economy. However, as an industry and a country, we face a critical shortage of commercial truck drivers. This shortage threatens to bring our slowly rebounding economy to a grinding halt. In order to avoid this shortage, the government must work together with the trucking industry to eliminate obstacles that are impacting our ability to train, license and hire new truck drivers. 

Over the past several years, the Commercial Vehicle Training Association and trucking industry partners have been working to identify obstacles and bottlenecks that are hampering the industry’s ability to train and produce more quality drivers, meet the needs of commercial carriers and keep the economy growing.

With a shortfall projected to reach almost 240,000 in the next 10 years, it is more important than ever for the industry to work in concert with federal and state legislatures and executive branch agencies to examine and shape policies that will help alleviate bottlenecks for those who want to enter the industry.

This means streamlining the process of enrolling students into schools, getting them quality training and getting them skills-tested and licensed.

In a time when many Americans are frustrated by the gridlock in Congress, there are examples of bipartisan efforts positively impacting the country and business. CVTA and the trucking industry have an impressive track record of reaching out to elected officials — federal, state and local — to educate them about obstacles that are impairing the truck driver training industry’s ability to produce more drivers.

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