This week on Taking the Hire Road, Jeremy Reymer, CEO and founder of DriverReach, is joined again by passionate industry leader Lindsey Trent, co-founder and president of the Next Generation in Trucking Association (NGT) to discuss the importance of welcoming tomorrow’s trucking industry professionals.
The industry is not usually a first choice for many young people, particularly those 30 and under. For driving schools across the U.S., the average new-entry age is 38 years old, according to Reymer. This is due to a variety of reasons, including age limitations and lack of awareness.
Industry leaders like Trent are working tirelessly to correct this systemic issue.
“Every time I walked into the doors of a business or a conference, we always talked about the biggest problems — driver shortages, our aging workforce and the lack of young people being educated on trucking and the opportunities associated,” Trent said. “I started thinking about how we need to come up with an industrywide solution regarding these problems that we talk about constantly.”
Trent co-founded NGT with Dave Dein in July 2021 with the mission of promoting trucking as a positive career field to the younger generation. The organization provides educational resources and programs to both secondary and postsecondary institutions in the U.S. and specific employment and training connections and opportunities for young people.
“If we want to elevate the image of trucking, we need to target the young people that want to make trucking their first career choice,” Trent said. “Starting as a truck driver — the sky’s the limit. You can be an owner-operator, you can work as a safety manager, in HR or even own your own fleet of trucks. We need to connect these young people to this career and make them aware of this.”
NGT deems success as continuously creating more awareness and training programs for high schoolers and young people surrounding the trucking industry. According to Trent, there are more programs, resources and grants in the works to continue this venture, as well as more schools interested in incorporating these programs.
One of the initiatives that will help NGT’s efforts is the upcoming Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Program — a three-year program that will assist individuals ages 18-20 with exploring interstate trucking careers. This program could lead to reducing the minimum age for CDL drivers who work across state lines.
To learn more about NGT, visit its website.
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