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ATA to offer truck-driving registered apprenticeship program for members


The American Trucking Associations announced Tuesday it has signed an agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor establishing ATA as an official registered apprenticeship sponsor. As a DOL-recognized sponsor at the national level, ATA can now provide its member companies the ability to offer apprenticeships to job applicants. ATA and its partner Fastport — a Labor Department intermediary specializing in transportation and logistics — will administer the program for the participating companies. Under the apprenticeship program, ATA members will need to meet certain training and compensation standards as they bring in new drivers for a two-year apprenticeship program that will provide graduated wages as drivers develop and expand their skills. Brenda Neville, president and CEO of the Iowa Motor Truck Association, said she has seen some interest by Iowa-based trucking companies in the program. Trucking associations are waiting on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to publish rules for the program, a process Neville said she hopes is completed by this fall. The registered apprenticeship program will enable people between the ages of 18 and 21 to drive trucks on an interstate basis; current laws restrict them to intrastate driving only, Neville said. In Iowa, up to 3,000 drivers will be allowed into a pilot program under the federal Drive Safe Act to go through the apprenticeship program. The U.S. trucking industry is currently short of more than 80,000 drivers needed to meet the economy’s current freight demands, the ATA said, and diesel technicians are also in high demand and short supply. Accelerating access to registered apprenticeship programs for truck-driving jobs is one of the initiatives recommended by the Biden administration’s Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force that was launched in June 2021.

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