INDUSTRY GROWTH: TRUCKING, VETERANS, AND THE ECONOMY
America’s communities are as diverse as they are widespread. With such varying needs, the only industry that has been proven to adequately deliver necessary goods and services to all American communities – rural, suburban, and metro alike – is trucking.
The trucking industry has been facing massive roadblocks in its ability to serve the American people for years. Now, due to outdated infrastructure, the demanding lifestyle, and lack of provided benefits, as well as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, truckers are finding themselves in a tough spot.
The Biden Administration recently rolled out a new program to help these essential workers. The program is aimed to benefit both the trucking industry as a whole and the truckers on a personal level. With these benefits, the American economy will be improved.
The most pressing struggles facing the trucking industry today are the barriers to entry, the unpredictable loading conditions, and the absence of financial security for independent truckers. These struggles add to the high turnover rate within the industry and continue to lessen the rate of recruitment.
Truckers currently have an unprecedented demand placed upon them for the delivery of goods. While this demand has resulted in some pay increases, the rate of employment continues to stay below the necessary threshold.
“The Administration is taking action, and now we are asking industry, labor, and all levels of government to partner with us to address these trucking workforce challenges and begin building a next-generation trucking workforce. A stronger trucking workforce is one where trucking jobs are good, safe, and stable — jobs that employers can attract a new generation of drivers into while retaining existing drivers to deliver for clients and grow their businesses,” the Administration said in a December 2021 brief.
That action will come in the form of partnering between the Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to support programs that will boost states’ issuing of CDLs to increase the number of truckers able to drive. The FMCSA is investing over $30 million in this program. Included in this initiative is a detailed action list to achieve higher recruitment rates, as well as tracking systems that will identify areas of delay in issuance and licensure.
The Biden Administration also launched the Driving Good Jobs initiative, another partnership between DOT and the Department of Labor. The initiative will take great action for promotional recruitment endeavors and support research and legislative actions to improve the industry as a whole.
In June of 2021, the Biden Administration started the Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force, aimed at identifying the supply chain deficiencies that pose a threat to economic vitality. Within the Task Force is the Truck Action Plan that will provide the necessary support to the trucking industry to aid recovery post-COVID and continue to improve the industry’s overall functioning.