The Logbook: Workforce Heroes Teaches Iowa Students About The Trucking Industry
The logbook is a weekly recap of human interest stories related to the transportation industry. This week: Workforce Heroes teaches students about trucking careers, “Grow at XPO” launches 100th location, and WIT partners with CarriersEdge for the Diversity and Inclusion Index.
ATA Workforce Heroes visits high schools in Iowa
Workforce Heroes, an American Trucking Associations (ATA) program focused on recruiting and training future trucking professionals, wrapped up their tour of Northwestern Iowa high schools this week.
The program, sponsored by Mack Trucks and Utility Trailers with support from Omnitracs and TA-Petro, visited seven high schools to teach students how to safely drive trucks on the highway as well as career paths in the trucking industry.
Using a Mack Anthem High Rise Class 8 sleeper donated to Workforce Heroes, students learned stopping distances in all types of weather conditions and blind spots encountered by drivers.
Professional truck driving instructors, who have racked up millions of accident-free kilometers, explained why these lessons are important.
“The goal of our demonstration is to educate current and future drivers on how to safely drive alongside trucks,” said Randall Luschen of Weinrich Truck Line, Inc. in a press release. “At the end of the day, we want everyone to come home safe. ”
The tour focused on the specifics of the careers of oversized transport technicians, relay driving and heavy goods vehicles. Students were provided with information detailing salaries and CDL requirements.
“More and more of our professional drivers are retiring, which is why we’re here to explain career opportunities in the trucking industry,” said Bill McNamee, Workforce Heroes Driver, Carbon Express, Inc. .
“A career as a professional truck driver is extremely rewarding as it allows you to travel all over the country and meet so many different people. We need the younger generation to join our industry so that we can continue to move America forward. “
Launch of the “Grow at XPO” program at the 100th location
Earlier this month, XPO Logistics’ Monroe Township, New Jersey (NYSE: XPO) site became the company’s 100th site to offer the “Grow at XPO” program to its employees. About twenty employees have started working on career plans.
Launched in August 2020, the “Grow at XPO” program helps frontline employees learn what it takes to advance into roles with more responsibility and higher pay. It focuses specifically on employees from underrepresented communities who may not have access to technological skills.
Once an employee has satisfactorily completed a trial period for a new employee with a positive performance record, they are eligible to enroll in the Grow program.
Edward Gordon, Supply Chain Field Operations Manager at the New Jersey site, completed a four-month training course for Field Operations Managers.
“Growing up at XPO is something this team has been waiting for,” Gordon said in a press release. “They are really eager to get started with this. I think this shows a lot that XPO is ready to help employees and hourly supervisors grow. “
The program has garnered a lot of attention among company employees, as it uses on-site human resources generalists known as “Grow Champs” to identify high potential individuals who may not come forward.
The Grow Champ of the new site, Yadhi Arroyo, explained the process of identifying the growth potential of an XPO janitor who was looking to advance her career with the company.
“She told me, ‘I love my job, I don’t want to change it – but I also want to learn something different,” said Arroyo. “I want to be of use to the site if they need my support on any project. ” It was very interesting. From our HR perspective, our goal is always to invest in our people.
The program also encourages cross-training to learn skills for roles outside of their current location.
“XPO has openings across the United States. When you participate in the program, it gives you the opportunity to go to other sites, ”said Arroyo. “There were questions about the relocation, and they were surprised to hear about the opportunities. “
WIT Partners with CarriersEdge to Create Diversity and Inclusion Index
The Women in Trucking Association (WIT) has partnered with CarriersEdge, an online training provider for trucking companies, to create a Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Index to assess companies’ diversity efforts North American trucking industry.
The index will assess interviews, surveys and programs among participating fleets to identify best practices and trends for recruiting under-represented groups.
In an interview with FreightWaves, Debbie Sparks, vice president of WIT, explained the importance of creating this index for the industry.
“It is important that we set a standard for the future of minorities in the transport industry,” she said. “A very simple way to do it is to celebrate how carriers are currently setting these standards within their businesses so that others can learn and adopt those same standards. “
She also expressed the importance of teaming up with CarriersEdge for this initiative.
“When I first contacted them and shared the idea with them, they didn’t even hesitate,” Sparks explained. “I have worked with them in the past and their work ethic, insight and vision for this project made it obvious.”
Until July 31, any private or private fleet operating 10 or more trucks in the United States or Canada can apply to be part of the benchmarking initiative. Applicants will receive a questionnaire about their recruiting efforts. An interview with company management and a survey of company employees follows.
Those with outstanding diversity accomplishments will be celebrated in November at WIT’s Accelerate! Conference in Dallas.
Click here for more articles from Grace Sharkey
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