ATA Announces ‘Commitment to Hire 100,000 Veterans’

Thank you, veterans.

The American Trucking Association yesterday announced its commitment to hire 100,000 veterans thought the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring 500,000 Heroes campaign.

“There’s no higher calling for an American than to serve in our armed forces, and I’d like to think that driving a truck – delivering America’s most essential goods safely and efficiently is also a high calling,” said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. “That’s why we’re so proud to be partnering with Hiring Our Heroes and committing on behalf of the trucking industry to hire 100,000 veterans over the next two years.”

The Hiring our Heroes program launched in March 2011 as a nationwide campaign to help military veterans and their families find employment.  Through the program, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce works with state and local chambers of commerce and other organizations to help veterans find careers. More than 1,700 companies have committed to hire 585,000 veterans and their spouses.

To date, 396,000 veterans and their spouses have found careers.

“It is rare in business and in life to find an opportunity that is a win-win for all involved, but that’s what Hiring Our Heroes is – a win for those veterans returning from service looking to transition to civilian life and a win for the trucking industry which is desperate to find dedicated, hard-working and safety-minded people to fill many thousands of open positions as drivers or technicians,” said ATA Chairman Duane Long, chairman of Longistics, Raleigh, N.C.

“A strong trucking industry is critical to the growth of our country and our economy. ATA’s pledge to hire and support 100,000 veterans sets a tremendous example for others to follow,” said Eric Eversole, vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and executive director of Hiring Our Heroes.

ATA and Hiring Our Heroes will use the FASTPORT trucking track system to help match veterans with fleets that have job openings.

“Trucking has always been a favorite industry for our veterans because they are already trained to succeed in many great career paths,” said Bill McLennan, CEO of FASTPORT. “ATA’s leadership and call to action from its members demonstrate the industry’s affinity for hiring veterans and we are honored to help our talented veterans find great careers with those great employers in the trucking industry.”

“As a veteran and a professional truck driver, I know that my fellow service members have what it takes – and what fleets are looking for – to safely move America’s freight,” said Alphonso Lewis, a professional driver with YRC Freight and an America’s Road Team Captain. “Driving a truck has been a tremendously rewarding career for me after my service ended and I know that there are thousands of potential drivers in our military just looking for the opportunity.”