Troop transition

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No matter which way the wind blows, there’s one trucking fact of life that never changes – fleets always will need a pool of good drivers to haul freight. One innovative solution combines this industry need with a population in need of employment. Troop Transition is a career transition program designed to place those serving in the U.S. Armed Forces with post-service civilian employment. They recently launched Troops 2 Truckers, a training program that allows military men and women to enter the trucking industry as professional drivers the day they leave the base.

Kevin Denny, chief executive officer of Troop Transition, is excited about the opportunity to provide a career path for troops and also meet the trucking industry’s need for drivers. “These are people who have a track record of discipline and are drug-free, clean-cut, loyal and mission-oriented – everything a trucking company would want in a driver,” Denny says. Bill Graves, American Trucking Associations president and CEO, says the need for drivers will be overwhelming once the economy improves, and he’s enthusiastic about Troops 2 Truckers’ benefits to military men and women.

This worthy endeavor differs from other driver training programs because it’s designed by trucking industry employers. Denny says the employer partners “custom-design” the curriculum and skills training needed to ensure these new hires exceed their employment standards. Employers are willing to accept honorable military experience in lieu of civilian employment experience, and they are offering jobs as local and long-haul drivers to candidates who have earned a CDL through the Troops 2 Truckers program. Since employers can’t directly recruit in the military, this program steps in and offers training while they are still on active duty. The training utilizes military tuition assistance to cover the expenses and leaves the candidates’ G.I. Bill benefits available for future use.

Not only do fleets get a great recruit, they also employ service members who chose the military in place of college. Of the more than 200,000 service personnel honorably discharged each year, 85 percent are enlisted personnel who served four years. “Many of these young people have not had any education or training that’s applicable outside of the military,” Denny says. “It’s estimated that more than 40 percent will live below the poverty line and 25 percent will stay there for life. Our objective is to eliminate some of the hurdles these veterans face and provide transitioning training that will give them a real job career with zero out-of-pocket expenses.”

What a great idea – and a real win-win option for everyone. For more information, visit www.trooptransition.com.