ARLINGTON, Va. — On June 14, the American Trucking Association’s (ATA) Workforce Heroes program concluded a week-long tour of high schools in Iowa, teaching safe driving skills and raising awareness about job opportunities available in the trucking industry.
With a shortage of professional truck drivers and qualified diesel technicians across the country, the Workforce Heroes program educated students from seven different high schools about the career path variety that can be found in trucking. Students took home a copy of ATA’s Workforce Heroes pamphlet to learn more about a day in the life of a professional truck driver, starting salary, CDL requirements and more.
“Through the pandemic, we found different ways to get out and educate our communities. The technology we have today allowed us to keep sharing our message and continue representing the best this industry has to offer,” said Randall Luschen, a Workforce Heroes truck driver with Weinrich Truck Line Inc. “The goal of our demonstration is to educate current and future drivers on how to safely drive alongside trucks. At the end of the day, we want everyone to get home safe.”
The tour included safety demonstrations using ATA’s Workforce Heroes Mack Anthem High Rise Sleeper, as well as classroom sessions where students had a chance to watch the “Share the Road” instructional video. Workforce Heroes professional truck drivers walked students through the blind spots of commercial vehicles and discussed the dangers of distracted driving. The drivers emphasized long stopping distances of trucks and the importance of maintaining safe distances during winter months. Students were able to climb into the driver’s seat of a truck to experience firsthand what a professional truck driver can and cannot see while operating a large commercial vehicle.
The Workforce Heroes program is sponsored by Mack Trucks and Utility Trailers and supported by OmniTracs and TA-Petro.
“More and more of our professional drivers are heading into retirement, which is why we are here to explain the career opportunities in the trucking industry,” said Bill McNamee, a Workforce Heroes truck driver for 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 keep moving America forward.”
The Workforce Heroes tour stopped at the following schools:
- Hinton High School, Hinton, Iowa;
- North High School, Sioux City, Iowa;
- West High School, Sioux City, Iowa;
- Maple Valley High School, Mapleton, Iowa;
- Storm Lake High School, Storm Lake, Iowa;
- East High School, Sioux City, Iowa; and
- Sergeant Bluff High School, Sergeant Bluff, Iowa.