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The Biden Administration Unveils A Plan For ‘Helping Fleets With Driver Recruitment, Retention’ - Teamsters Respond Union Is ‘Ready To Beef Up’ Existing Training Program To Supply New Drivers

Published Thursday, December 23, 2021
by Labor News Services & Staff
The Biden Administration Unveils A Plan For ‘Helping Fleets With Driver Recruitment, Retention’ - Teamsters Respond Union Is ‘Ready To Beef Up’ Existing Training Program To Supply New Drivers

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The White House says trucking and transportation have long faced the headwinds that have been laid bare by the Coronavirus Pandemic, including historical problems with recruiting new Drivers and high turnover rates.

That’s why President Joe Biden announced his plan to unlock productivity and ease the supply chain bottlenecks that had left a record number of container ships floating just offshore at ports around the U.S.  And now, Biden's multi-pronged Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force has gotten another prong: the Biden-Harris Trucking Action Plan.

Senior Administration Officials said the aim of the 90-day blitz is "to strengthen the Trucking Workforce ... to improve recruiting, retention and productivity," noting trucking and transportation have long faced hiring and turnover challenges, "headwinds that have been laid bare by the pandemic," the official said. 

The groundwork for much of the plan was already included in the Infrastructure Bill that was passed last month, but Senior Administration Officials noted the Biden-Harris Trucking Action Plan "cuts through the red tape."

Among the first groups the White House intends to target with trucking careers is Military Veterans - a potential labor pool of 70,000-plus, the White House said.

Veterans already make up more than 20% of the Transportation Workforce.

J.B. Hunt claims roughly 20% of its fleet is piloted by Military Veterans and more than 36% of TMC Transportation's Flatbed Trucking Fleet is comprised of Veterans. 

Of the approximately nine million Veterans employed across the U.S. economy in 2019, 10.3% (about 926,000) were in occupations directly involved in transportation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa released the following statement on Biden’s new Trucking Action Plan, which he said is focused on bolstering the Trucking Workforce through increased Registered Apprenticeships to ensure a more robust U.S. Supply Chain:

“For years, the Teamsters Union has been at the forefront of building a better trucking industry by working with ABF, UPS and Yellow Trucking to train the next generation of qualified truck drivers needed to ship goods nationwide.

But we can do more.

We are committed to working together with U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and the entire Biden Administration to get more employers to adopt this Registered Apprenticeship Model and use it to recruit, train and retain drivers, and ensure we are always working to guarantee these are quality, safe jobs.

We see Registered Apprenticeship Programs as an invaluable tool to make certain Drivers are well-trained and have a career path that offers well-compensated jobs, while simultaneously helping to address the challenges that motor carriers face when recruiting, training and retaining Commercial Truck Drivers.” 

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million Members throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

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