WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced its partnership with the Trucking Alliance – an industry-based safety coalition of freight transportation and logistics companies – to join the administration’s 90-Day Trucking Apprenticeship Challenge, and promote the apprenticeship model as a solution to get more well-trained drivers to work in good-paying jobs.
Together, the department and the alliance are committed to help expand Registered Apprenticeship programs in the trucking industry. The partnership’s focus on expanding these programs will enhance industry training and safety standards and improve job quality to recruit and retain truck drivers. At the same time, Registered Apprenticeship programs will be tailored to increase outreach to underrepresented communities such as veterans, women, people with disabilities and people of color.
With the partnership’s announcement also comes the news that Maverick USA in Little Rock, Arkansas – an alliance member – has launched the company’s first Registered Apprenticeship program.
“So far, more than 250 organizations have engaged with this initiative and more than 70 employers have committed to developing and joining existing programs or have already launched new Registered Apprenticeship programs,” said Secretary Marty Walsh. “This apprenticeship challenge has been so successful in part because of partners like Maverick USA and the Trucking Alliance.”
The partnership aligns with the Biden-Harris administration’s Trucking Action Plan overseen by the Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force, launched in June 2021. Co-chaired by the Secretaries of Commerce, Transportation and Agriculture, the task force was created to address near-term supply chain bottlenecks as the economy rapidly reopened following the administration’s historic vaccination and economic relief efforts.
“The Trucking Alliance is committed to making improvements in training and safety standards for truck drivers a priority and keep our supply chain moving responsibly,” said Maverick USA’s CEO Steve Williams, who serves as the Trucking Alliance’s president. “The efforts by the Biden administration and by the Department of Labor to expand Registered Apprenticeship programs could not be timelier and more important.”
The department is placing a high level of importance on expanding RA in the trucking industry to build a sustainable pipeline of drivers with access to fair wages while learning skills, high job quality, and enhanced safety and training standards.