Trucking Companies Think Outside the Box
Wednesday, Jan 15 2014 Holley Young
According to the U.S. government, projections show that 330,000 new truckers will be needed by 2020. Today, in 2014, trucking companies are already facing this shortage and have been for quite some time. With over 250,000 vacant truck driving jobs as of now, trucking companies are being forced to think outside of the box.
From incarceration to the open road
P I & I is one the many trucking companies finding itself innovatively searching for once unlikely candidates. In the face of a trucking shortage, this eastern based trucking company has created a pilot program to train and help prisoners obtain their commercial driver’s license in attempts to employ them after they are released from prison. While participants are still incarcerated at the Richland Correctional Institution in Mansfield, P I & I offers prisoners a chance to earn a financially rewarding career, something that is often hard for these inmates to do after they are released from prison.
"It's a great opportunity for somebody to gain employment long-term -- to actually set up a career" and avoid returning to crime, David J. Stillwagon, chief executive officer of Community Corrections Association Inc., said.
Upon being released, the former prisoners are employed as full-time trainees while they spend four to six months at the Community Corrections Association in Youngstown. During this time period, the trainees drive trucks on short trips between steel pipe and coil plants in Sharon, Farrell, and Wheatland, Pa., and the trucking company’s headquarters in Sharon. Once these former inmates have proven themselves and their trucking abilities, they graduate onto longer trips.
P I & I trainees can expect to earn a little more than $30,000 a year plus benefits with the opportunity to earn up to $80,000, according to the P I & I president, Joseph J. Kerola.
P I & I was founded 1951 and prides itself on being the largest family owned and operated carrier East of the Rocky Mountains. With over 900 tractors, P I & I operates throughout the continental United States in addition to Canada. P I & I ensures drivers will receive top rated pay and benefits.
From tanks to trucks
Another company that is making headlines for its efforts to fill job positions is Crete Carrier. Recently, Crete Carrier announced a Department of Veterans Affairs-approved training program that will provide veterans with opportunities to transition back into civilian life. This 12-month training program offers on-the-job training. In addition, eligible participants will be provided with compensation through the GI Bill.
Crete Carrier created The Patriot Fleet in order to personally thank all military personnel and their families. Crete Carrier compensates $500 a week during the 8 week road training period. After being released from the road training program, military veterans can expect to earn between $.37 and $.40 cents per practical mile.
Since 1966, Crete Carrier has operated as a dry van trucking company along with two other separate operating divisions, Shaffer Trucking and Hunt Transportation. Shaffer Trucking offers refrigerated services while Hunt Transportation provides flatbed transportation. Together, the group ranks as one of the largest privately owned trucking companies in the country.
The trucking industry is working hard to find new markets to tap for more potential drivers. Whether or not there is an impending driver shortage is a hot topic of debate in the industry. No matter which side of the debate you agree with, it's hard to ignore the number of jobs that are already available.
If you’re in the market for a new career, truck driving has many job opportunities right now. Find a truck driving job that’s right for you.
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