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Photos: WTI’s upgraded facilities play role in driver recruiting, retention

Tuscaloosa, Ala.-based nationwide steel hauler WTI Transport pulled the curtain back this fall on a new, modern office building, complete with a new recruiting center, state-of-the-art tools for dispatchers and a bevy of offices and conference rooms.

But WTI set out to do more than just provide its in-office employees new work spaces: It also built a new, modern lounge for its drivers, both as a measure of appreciation to its truck operators and as a tool to help the company recruit new drivers and retain the ones it has.

And the results so far point to promise: WTI’s driver turnover rate in December was just 22 percent — its lowest since it began tracking turnover in 2003. Turnover in the final quarter of the year (the first since the new facilities opened), was 52 percent, much lower than the same time period in recent years, says WTI’s Guy Martorana, the company’s HR director.

As CCJ headquarters are in Tuscaloosa, I had the opportunity to pay WTI a visit last month to see the new facilities and talk with some of its recruiters about how they lounge and other amenities aided the carrier in finding and keeping drivers.

Here’s a photo gallery of the carriers’ new facilities and its amenities:

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The lobby/foyer of WTI's office. I visited during the Christmas season, and the company had its decorations on display.

The lobby/foyer of WTI’s office. I visited during the Christmas season, and the company had its decorations on display.

WTI's dispatch wing is equipped with about 8 dispatch stations, each of them anchored with two big monitors for dispatchers to work with. The window on the back wall in this picture is where drivers can come talk to the dispatchers.

WTI’s dispatch wing is equipped with about 8 dispatch stations, each of them anchored with two big monitors for dispatchers to work with. The window on the back wall in this picture is where drivers can come talk to the dispatchers.

One of the company's new conference rooms.

One of the company’s new conference rooms.

And here’s the real star of the show — the company’s new driver lounge:

Several leather, plush couches anchor the driver lounge, and two 70-inch TVs flank both sides of the lounge's main room.

Several leather, plush couches anchor the driver lounge, and two 70-inch TVs flank both sides of the lounge’s main room.

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WTI included two refreshment stations in the driver lounge, complete with a popcorn maker, hot dog machine, microwave and more. Another not pictured here features a soda fountain.

WTI included two refreshment stations in the driver lounge, complete with a popcorn maker, hot dog machine, microwave and more. Another not pictured here features a soda fountain.

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One of the most requested items of WTI's new facilities was a basketball goal. The company took it a step further, building a full basketball court. WTI recruiter Elisabeth Ashworth says nearly every driver who stops at the company's HQ shoots at least a few shots.

One of the most requested items of WTI’s new facilities was a basketball goal. The company took it a step further, building a full basketball court. WTI recruiter Elisabeth Ashworth says nearly every driver who stops at the company’s HQ shoots at least a few shots.

Last, drivers can grab plenty of complimentary WTI gear from a smaller driver lounge within WTI's office.

Last, drivers can grab plenty of complimentary WTI gear from a smaller driver lounge within WTI’s office.

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James Jaillet is Senior Editor for Overdrive and the Commercial Carrier Journal. Reach him at jjaillet@randallreilly.com.