FMCSA's advisory board on women drivers sets next meeting

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Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023:

Advisory board for women truckers set to meet again

The Women of Trucking Advisory Board (WOTAB), which most recently met Oct. 26 to discuss ways the trucking industry can facilitate support for women pursuing trucking careers, is set to meet again in November to review notes from previous meetings.

WOTAB’s next meeting will be held virtually on Monday, Nov. 13, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern.

The board will complete its review of the discussion notes from the deliberations concerning Tasks 22-1 through 23-4, which were discussed during previous meetings, and the draft report prepared by its Report Subcommittee. The Report Subcommittee members were designated during the WOTAB’s Aug. 14 meeting for the purpose of compiling information from the discussion notes for the meetings and drafting a report for the full WOTAB to review prior to its submission to the FMCSA Administrator.

WOTAB’s tasks that it will review are:

  • Task 22-1 focused on identifying and eradicating sexual harassment and violence against women, particularly drivers, in the commercial motor vehicle (CMV) industry
  • Task 23-1 focused on barriers to women’s entry into the CMV industry
  • Task 23-2 focused on maximizing existing avenues of employment for women
  • Task 23-3 examined how to enhance CMV driver training, mentorship, and education opportunities for women and to best support career advancement opportunities for women in the CMV industry
  • Task 23-4 examined how all the relevant stakeholders – such as trucking companies, non-profit organizations, training and education providers, and trucking associations – can work together to support women pursuing careers in trucking

Those interested in attending the Nov. 13 meeting are required to register by Nov. 6. Oral comments from the public will be heard during designated comment periods at the discretion of the WOTAB chair and Designated Federal Officer.

[Related: FMCSA's Women of Trucking Advisory Board has a lot to offer men]

Wreaths Across America seeking more carriers to haul wreaths

Wreaths Across America is looking for more trucking companies to haul wreaths for the annual event in December.

Each December with the help of hundreds of volunteer trucking companies and professional drivers, Wreaths Across America is able to honor fallen heroes through wreath-laying ceremonies at more than 4,000 participating locations across the United States.

This year, WAA transportation partners will assist in delivering more than two million Veterans’ Wreaths to be placed on veterans’ graves all over the country on Dec. 16.

Trucking companies who join as volunteers will become a part of WAA’s "Honor Fleet," get the opportunity to give back in recognition of the sacrifice our veterans make, and have opportunities for recognition from the organization, veterans’ programs, local media and more.

According to WAA’s spreadsheet of open lanes for this year, lanes are still available to pick up wreaths at WAA headquarters in Columbia, Maine, with deliveries going to Richland, Mississippi; St. Louis, Missouri; Sarasota, Florida; and Charlotte, North Carolina.

Those interested can fill out the form on this page.

Saia opens first terminal in Maine

Saia, Inc. (CCJ Top 250, No. 19) announced Tuesday that Saia LTL Freight has opened its newest terminal in Scarborough, Maine, just south of Portland.

This is the eighth terminal the carrier has opened since January and the first terminal the company has opened in Maine.

Beyond its proximity to Boston, Portland is home to Maine’s largest port and population, making it the state’s economic capital. This newest location will allow Saia to offer its customers more direct coverage as demand for its shipping services continues to grow in the Northeast and beyond.

"We are very excited to be part of the Portland area,” said Jared Mull, Saia VP of Operations, East. “I’d like to welcome our newest employees to the Saia family. The success Saia has seen throughout the region has been because of the service our team provides our customers each day.”

With each new terminal opening this year, Saia has enhanced its market position and garnered a great response from both existing and new customers, the company noted.

Mississippi community college gets boost to trucking school

A Mississippi community college's truck driver training program will benefit from a donation made by a large national furniture manufacturer.

Itawamba Community College, which has campuses in Fulton, Tupelo and Belden, recently received $500,000 from the Ashley Charitable Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Ashley Furniture Industries, LLC.

"The funds from the Ashley Charitable Foundation will be used to further enhance infrastructure at ICC as it continues to expand its Commercial Truck Driving program with the construction of a new driving range just across the street from the Tupelo Campus,” Itawamba Community College said in a statement. “Additional phases will include the construction of a storage facility for training equipment and phase three, a state-of-the-art training lab and garage."

Ashley, which is based in Arcadia, Wisconsin, operates one of the largest private trucking fleets in the U.S. Its Ashley Distribution Services has some 1,943 trucks and 1,250 drivers.