KIRKLAND, Wash. — Kenworth, FASTPORT and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes initiative are again partnering in the search for America’s top rookie military veteran driver who made the successful transition to the trucking industry following military service.
Under the “Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence” recognition program, Kenworth will provide the top award for the eighth consecutive year, according to a news release.
In recognition of Kenworth’s 100th anniversary, this year’s award is a T680 Signature Edition Anniversary truck.
The T680 Signature Edition is equipped with a 76-inch sleeper and the PACCAR Powertrain featuring the PACCAR MX-13 engine rated at 455 horsepower, PACCAR TX-12 automated transmission and PACCAR DX-40 tandem rear axles, according to Kenworth.
The T680 Signature Edition Diamond VIT features a black onyx grille and side air intake and prominent Kenworth 100 badges on the sleeper.
The truck is painted in Century Platinum Metallic signature paint and features specially designed anniversary wheels in black.
It has black interior with legacy red stitching accents throughout the cab and sleeper. The package also includes Kenworth 100 branded GT703 seats with red accents, special brushed platinum dash and door trim, along with the Kenworth 100 logo stitched into the sleeper back wall.
“Every year we see a life changed because of this contest and I don’t think it can get any better but each year it does. Kenworth outdid themselves by providing this incredible T680 Special Edition Anniversary Edition truck,” said Brad Bentley, FASTPORT president. “In honor of Kenworth’s 100th anniversary this year, our goal is to receive 100 nominations, and we are excited to award this truck to a deserving driver who has made the successful transition to the trucking industry following military service.”
Genevieve Bekkerus, Kenworth’s director of marketing, said that driver nominations can come from small, mid-and large-sized fleets, organizations or CDL schools.
“Just last year, winner Ashley Leiva, was nominated by the driving school that trained her,” Bekkerus said. “Each year, I look forward to getting to know the inspiring award finalists and I am thrilled that Kenworth is able to award a deserving veteran the T680 Signature Edition in honor of Kenworth’s 100th anniversary.”
The top driver will be determined by an expert panel of judges.
To qualify, drivers must meet eligibility requirements as specified in the official Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence Award rules, including:
- Being a legal resident of the continental United States and military veteran or current/former member of the National Guard or Reserves.
- Graduating from PTDI-certified, NAPFTDS or CVTA member driver training school, with a valid CDL.
- Having been employed by any for-hire carrier or private fleet that has pledged to hire veterans and hired as a CDL driver after Jan. 1, 202
Nominations are open now and the final deadline to submit applications is July 31.
The top 10 semi-finalists will be announced on Sept. 1.
Finalists will be invited to Columbus, Ohio, to tour the National Veterans Memorial and Museum and attend a reception, followed by a tour of the Kenworth Chillicothe manufacturing plant and MHC Road Ready Center, where the top three finalists will be announced.
Public voting of the three finalists will begin Oct. 27 and continue for two weeks. On Dec. 15, finalists will gather at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where the final award announcement will be made — the winner will drive home in the Kenworth T680 Signature Edition.
“Transportation is an industry focused on serving community and giving back so is a natural fit for military veterans looking to continue their careers on a service-oriented mission,” said Eric Eversole, U.S. Chamber of Commerce vice president and Hiring Our Heroes president. “Hiring Our Heroes is proud to partner with FASTPORT and Kenworth to promote the hiring of more service members into the trucking industry.”
Full criteria and online nomination forms are available now on the Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence website by clicking here.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.