The FASTPORT team just returned from Fort Drum, NY where it had the incredible opportunity to speak with transitioning Servicemembers and military Veterans and Spouses in three different ways: in class, on panels, and at the culminating hiring fair.
FASTPORT CEO Bill McLennan had a unique opportunity to educate service men and women in their transition assistance program (TAP) classes where he served as an instructor for two sessions that included 130 job-seeking Soldiers.
TAP classes are designed to be the connecting force between Soldiers and the employment, educational, and Veteran benefit resources that will help serve them once they transition out of uniform. Soldier For Life and Transition Services works with many industries to ensure Soldiers have the resources they need during and after military service, and one of the industries they work closely with is trucking because the industry is setting a new standard on how to connect with and inspire Soldiers as they select their new careers.
To share trucking’s inspirational message and educate Soldiers on the real economic opportunities available to them in the industry, Bill shared statistics on the viability of trucking industry careers, particularly commercial driver roles. These statistics were eye-opening for many Soldiers. For example, after learning that the U.S. logistics and transportation industry spending totals $1.33 trillion in 2012 and represented 8.5% of the nation’s annual gross domestic product (GDP), they had a new appreciation for how the industry has a direct impact on the American economy.
Bill emphasized that, as members of the U.S. Armed Forces, Soldiers are hard-wired to succeed in trucking, and that professional success translates into a healthy industry and overall economy. With trucking-related careers growing in popularity every year (as demonstrated by the graphic below), the opportunities are massive for Veterans.
FASTPORT had the opportunity to share how Veterans are primed for a successful career in trucking and why the industry is the ideal place to start a career on the panel “Conversation with Employers on Best Practices” that occurred on Aug 26 and 27.
Both panels were moderated by Ross Cohen, Vice President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and Executive Director of Hiring Our Heroes. In addition to FASTPORT CEO Bill McLennan, the panels featured:
Amanda Veinott, Veterans Initiative Program Manager, Apollo Global Management
Chryssy Johnson, Military Strategy and Hiring Advisor, USAA
Lorrie Guler, Transition Services Manager, SFL-TAP
Rodney Westmooreland, Recently Transitioned Service Member
Rachel Holmes, Manager of Community Relations and Patient Engagement, Samaritan Medical Center, Military Spouse
Wayne Boswell, Director, Private & Public Engagement, Transition to Veterans Program Office, OSD Personnel & Readiness
John DiPiero, Director, Military Advocacy, USAA
SFC Trent Meyers, Transitioning Service Member
These panels reached 1,400 transitioning service men and women who are in the transition window (0-18 months), and one of the messages that these Soldiers found most inspiring was the idea that driving is another way to serve the country. Bill reinforced that commercial drivers are responsible for the safety and security of our roadways, and the trucking industry helps sustain and build America. This inspirational and accurate portrayal of trucking motivated Soldiers to seek out FASTPORT at the subsequent hiring fair and explore the industry’s career paths.
The Fort Drum Transition Summit ended on its best note: the hiring fair. At this final event, Soldiers took the knowledge gleaned over the two days of education from TAP classes and panel discussions and targeted employers that had the most to offer them. Because of the incredible opportunities it offers, trucking employers were a dominate force at the fair.
Soldiers gathered around FASTPORT’s booth for more information on how they are hard-wired for success in trucking and to request mentors from 12 industry-leading employers who are ready to guide them onto career paths that work with the Soldiers’ experience and ambition on the Trucking Track at truckingtrack.org.
The FASTPORT team helped motivate many Soldiers to consider careers in the trucking industry, and we will continue to spread the word through every possible avenue. If you are a carrier that would like to help us lead this vital effort, visit http://fastport.com/veterans.html.