Biden Administration ramps up efforts to ease driver shortage

President Joe Biden and transportation officials have announced a plan to further combat a driver shortage that has worsened supply chain disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Officials said the plan will not only address the issues the trucking industry is facing today, but also issues that have plagued the industry for years, i.e., driver turnover.

The administration will reportedly work to match veterans who left the service having gained military trucking experience with a CDL-A trucking job that they can transition into. The Los Angeles Times reported that in the last five years, 70,000 veterans have left the service with trucking experience.

The plan includes a “90-day apprenticeship challenge” for carriers to recruit prospective drivers into apprenticeship programs.

“We’re willing to say that any employer that’s willing to step up and be part of registered apprenticeship, we can help them launch a new program within 48 hours,” one official told Los Angeles Times.

President Biden recently passed a bipartisan infrastructure bill that includes a pilot program to bring the minimum age for interstate truck drivers from 21 to 18 and funding for studies to address compensation for truck drivers who sometimes spend hours waiting to load and unload.

Officials have also said they plan to form a task force to bring more women into the industry.

Story courtesy of Los Angeles Times.