Good News for Driver Recruitment
After months of stalling from the U.S. House of Representatives, a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill barely passed on November 6, 2021. This bill could help with driver recruitment along with providing funds for infrastructure.
The infrastructure bill deals with several issues, but most importantly to the transportation industry, this bill provides $110 billion for roads, highways, and bridges. There is also money set aside for public transit and infrastructure for electric vehicles. This includes grant programs to encourage investment in alternative fuels.
This bill included a program that many in the trucking industry hope will help with the current driver shortage. An apprenticeship program was approved for commercial drivers under 21 to train in interstate hauling.
Recruiting Younger Drivers
Many are excited by this apprenticeship program that trucking associations, including American Trucking Association (ATA), have been pushing for. As current drivers are aging and retiring, the trucking industry needs a way to reach younger drivers.
Previous laws made it difficult to recruit younger drivers because they could not get their CDL until after they turned 21. By that time potential drivers have already entered other industries. With this apprenticeship program, younger drivers can enter the trucking industry more immediately.
Training Younger Drivers
The apprenticeship program would require trucking companies to require probationary hours for under 21 drivers and have them ride with an experienced driver when completing interstate hauls.
During this probationary time, the company is required to ensure proper training in all safety and equipment handling. Training hours will include classroom and driving time and requires more training that traditional CDL training.
As trucking companies look to participate in this apprenticeship program, they may want to consider providing CDL and ELDT training as part of their recruitment process. Using materials such as Infinit-I Workforce Solution’s FMCSA registered ELDT training can help companies take fuller advantage of the apprenticeship program as a driver recruitment tool.
As this is a new program, it will take some time to see how this will affect the trucking industry. It will be important moving forward to pay attention to all regulations and rulings that occur. Training will be important throughout the process though.
Developing a Safety Conscious Workforce
This apprenticeship is meant to ensure younger drivers learn to be safe drivers. If you plan to take advantage of this program, it is also a good time to make sure all your drivers are more safety conscious.
Whether it is orientation, ongoing training, or corrective action training, Infinit-I Workforce Solutions has an easy-to-use online training platform that will help you nurture a safety culture for your company.
Want to see how Infinit-I can help you make safety part of your driver recruitment process? Request a free demo of the platform to get started.