The American Transportation Research Institute released a new report about how to best integrate younger adults aged 18 to 25 into trucking careers
ATRI notes that truck drivers are retiring annually by the tens of thousands and frequently churning in and out of different industry sectors; many other trucking industry positions are experiencing a dearth of applications as well.
In 2021, the driver shortage reportedly hit a record high of more than 80,000 drivers, and its predicted the shortage will surpass 160,000 by 2030.
ATRI’s research found that, while Millennial and Gen Z drivers are partially motivated by pay, the majority of them consider other factors equally or even more important when it comes to joining or remaining with a motor carrier.
In addition, 84% of younger drivers consider company culture important. The report includes initiatives, such as rewarding veteran drivers for informal mentorship, which can build community-centered cultures that younger drivers seek.
Structured feedback was found to be a key factor in successfully training Millennial and Gen Z drivers, who desire coaching – a continual process of short, frequent, and more personal meetings – in addition to more traditional evaluations, ATRI said.
Similarly, younger adults are more likely to enter the industry when fleets produce transparent recruitment and marketing materials that highlight both younger employees and expanded career paths.
“ATRI has provided a one-stop resource for creating work environments where younger employees are both productive and fulfilled,” said Jeremy Reymer, chief executive officer of the driver recruitment, retention and management systems company DriverReach.
Carriers looking to increase their number of younger employees or who are participating in the new federal Safe Driver Apprenticeship Program will find this report very useful, he pointed out.