Business Magazine

Hiring Our Heroes – A Great Match for the Trucking and Logistics Industries

Posted on the 25 May 2015 by Ryderexchange

Hiring-our-HeroesEvery day, the men and women of the military make significant sacrifices to protect our freedom. While we cannot thank them enough for their service, assisting veterans and transitioning service members in finding great careers in the trucking industry is one way we can show our appreciation.

That’s why many businesses have partnered with Hiring Our Heroes.

Launched in 2011, Hiring Our Heroes is a nationwide initiative to help veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment. Working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s vast network of state and local chambers and other strategic partners from the public, private and nonprofit sectors, the goal is to create a movement across America in hundreds of communities where veterans and military families return every day.

To date, Hiring Our Heroes has inspired more than 1,500 businesses of all sizes to hire 236,000 veterans, transitioning service members and military spouses. And as a direct result of more than 720 job fairs in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, 23,000 men and women have found employment.

Earlier this year, the American Trucking Association (ATA) on behalf of the trucking industry committed to hiring 100,000 veterans. To make the transition easy, the ATA has also partnered with FASTPORT – a mentoring program that serves as a useful tool to provide information about the trucking industry, available positions, and mentors who are ready to assist with recruiting and onboarding efforts.

The logistics industry is facing a significant talent shortage – from professional drivers to technicians, even logistics engineers. We continue to read about the significant impact of the driver and tech shortage on the industry

Veterans not only have skills that make them uniquely qualified to work in transportation and logistics, but they also bring other intangible qualities to the table, such as leadership, loyalty, and hard work. With the skills veterans possess it is extremely important to us that transitioning service men and women are made aware of all the opportunities available to them as they ease back into civilian life, and the many ways a career in transportation may be the perfect fit.

One of the key barriers to employment is credentialing and licensing.   Another is helping veterans to communicate their unique military experiences and skills in terms that are relevant to the civilian workforce.  The U.S Chamber of Commerce, through its Hiring Our Heroes initiative, has helped to engage corporate America on these issues.  As a result, there has been great progress.  But there is still much work to be done to not only hire veterans, but to cultivate long-term careers that will ultimately benefit our entire industry.

Companies must continue to recognize both the skills that veterans can offer, and help them match these skills to jobs in our industry.  Businesses must also continue to invest in on-boarding, training, and mentoring programs, to ensure we are retaining the talent we bring in the front door.  We encourage industry leaders to demonstrate gratitude for the tremendous sacrifices made by the men and women who have served our nation by supporting their transition back into the workforce and recruiting them for jobs in transportation and logistics.

Written by Patrick Pendergast, Sr. Director of Recruiting Services at Ryder. Patrick, who  joined Ryder in 2010, is responsible for designing and executing staffing strategies and overseeing Ryder’s driver and technician recruiting program. He has more than 20 years of staffing and recruiting experience with a diverse background in Human Resources and Talent Acquisition.

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