The Department of Labor and American Trucking Associations signed an agreement making ATA an official registered sponsor of the federal agency’s new apprenticeship program
The signing ceremony was attended by Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, whose department also has initiated apprenticeship training efforts with the industry for truck driver applicants under recently passed legislation.
ATA President Chris Spear commented, “This partnership puts us in a stronger position to help guide our members and millions of Americans as they pursue rewarding careers in our industry as commercial drivers, and we hope to build on this agreement for technicians and other trucking industry workforces.”
As a DOL-recognized national-level sponsor, ATA can provide its member firms with the ability to offer apprenticeships to job applicants. ATA, in tandem with FASTPORT, a DOL intermediary specializing in transportation and logistics, will administer the program for those companies.
ATA members are expected to meet certain training and compensation standards as they bring in new drivers for a two-year apprenticeship program which provides for a graduated wage scale as the drivers develop and expand their skills.
The trucking industry is currently short more than 80,000 drivers. Diesel technicians are also in high demand and short supply. Apprenticeships combine paid, on-the-job training with instruction to prepare new drivers and technicians for these careers.
“It’s more than just a paycheck for apprentices,” Spear explains. “By participating in a registered program, they are eligible for things like child care, housing allowances, and other support as they start down this new career path.”
He said the program also allows carriers to better highlight the benefits of a career in trucking through a national workforce development system, including expanded outreach and training support.