KIRKLAND Wash. — Kenworth, Fastport and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes initiative are joining together for the fourth consecutive year to promote the trucking industry and discover America’s top rookie military veteran driver, who has made the transition from military service in the U.S. Armed Forces to driving for a commercial fleet.
Under the “Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence” recognition program, Kenworth will again provide the top award – a Kenworth T680 fully loaded with a 76-inch sleeper, and the Paccar Powertrain, which includes the Paccar MX-13 engine, Paccar 12-speed automated transmission, and Paccar 40K tandem rear axles.
“We understand the vital importance of supporting our veterans in honor of their service to America. One way to express our appreciation is by donating our on-highway flagship Kenworth T680 – the Driver’s Truck – as the ‘Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence’ award for 2019,” said Kurt Swihart, Kenworth marketing director. “We urge fleets in America to nominate their best drivers who have served to protect our country, and we encourage those transitioning from military service to consider the trucking industry as their future career.”
“About 200,000 veterans transition from the military into the private sector annually. Our mission at Fastport is to inform and educate veterans about the real career opportunities in the nation’s trucking industry,” said Brad Bentley, president of Fastport. “Part of our effort is to showcase the best available equipment. As ‘The Driver’s Truck,’ the Kenworth T680 is a truck that certainly attracts attention. Again this year, a well-deserving veteran will receive the keys to Kenworth’s T680 – courtesy of Kenworth, as America’s top rookie military veteran in the industry.”
“Hiring Our Heroes helped more than 150,000 transitioning military service members and veterans connect with career opportunities in trucking and other high-demand career fields through its events and programs,” said Eric Eversole, vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and president of Hiring Our Heroes. “The 2019 ‘Transition Trucking’ award campaign provides a much-needed platform to highlight the positive impact veterans are making in the transportation industry and introduces a new generation of veterans to the excellent economic opportunities offered by a career in trucking.”
The top driver will be determined by an expert panel of judges. To qualify, drivers must meet four eligibility requirements:
- Must have been active military or member of the National Guard or Reserve.
- Must have graduated from PTDI-certified, NAPFTDS or CVTA member driver training school, with a valid CDL.
- Must be employed by a trucking company that has made a hiring commitment and pledge to hire veterans on the Trucking Track Mentoring Program website (www.truckingtrack.org).
- Must have been first hired in a trucking position between January 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019.
The nomination period began March 19. Nominations will be accepted until June 30, 2019. Full criteria and online nomination forms can be found on the “Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence” website (www.transitiontrucking.org).
Hiring Our Heroes hosts nearly 100 hiring events for service members, veterans, and military spouses throughout the year, with veteran hiring fairs slated to take place this year on military bases and at professional sports venues in cities with a high population of veterans. The Kenworth T680 Advantage will be on display at selected events to inform and inspire those considering a possible career in trucking.