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Buttigieg, Joshi meet with trucking groups to address workforce challenges

From Commercial Carrier Journal.

As part of the Biden administration’s ongoing work addressing supply chain disruption, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, and Deputy Administrator Meera Joshi of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration hosted a roundtable Thursday to discuss truck driver recruitment and retention.

“Our economy is getting back on its feet, but the pandemic has exposed and exacerbated longstanding challenges in our supply chain – including truck driver retention.” Buttigieg said. “We are bringing government, industry and key stakeholders together to help support truck drivers and all the consumers and businesses who rely on them.”

The American Trucking Associations was one trucking group included in the roundtable discussion. ATA’s Executive Vice Presidency of Advocacy Bill Sullivan joined the group to discuss challenges and opportunities facing the trucking workforce and federal policymakers.

“The COVID pandemic made Americans more acutely aware of how critical truckers are in sustaining the high standards of living we enjoy in this country,” Sullivan said. “We appreciate Secretaries Buttigieg and Walsh and FMCSA Deputy Administrator Joshi for their leadership in providing a forum to strengthen collaboration as we work together on positive solutions that improve highway safety, make our supply chain more resilient and grow our workforce.”

Sullivan stressed the industry’s high priority of reaching new talent – including the recruitment of more urban, rural, female and younger drivers – to help stem the tide of attrition. The median age of truck drivers is well above national average of all workers. And since federal regulations prevent younger drivers from participating in interstate trucking earlier in their careers, the average age of new drivers being trained is 35 – making trucking a career of last resort, rather than first choice, for many.

See the complete article online at Commercial Carrier Journal.