In December, the Biden administering challenged trucking companies to footfall up their disciplinarian training efforts and actualize a registered apprenticeship affairs with the U.S. Department of Labor, in affiliation with the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The administering advised its 90-Day Trucking Apprenticeship Challenge, which was aimed at recruiting and appliance added drivers, a success. It resulted in 102 new apprenticeship programs, assault the administration’s ambition of 90 programs in 90 days.
Karl’s Transport, a 135-truck carrier based out of Antigo, Wisconsin, was amid those companies accustomed during the challenge. Tim Kordula, the ambassador of the company’s bartering disciplinarian training school, batten with FreightWaves about why his aggregation took up the challenge, and his eyes for the company’s new registered apprenticeship program.
FREIGHTWAVES: The Department of Labor has had a registered apprenticeship affairs in abode for trucking companies and their drivers for several years. Back did you join?
KORDULA: “It was appropriate in the average of the 90-day challenge, about mid-February. I submitted my appliance and anon got a alarm aback from Fastport [DOL’s agent for the program], we appointed a appointment in backward February, and we were registered anon after.”
FREIGHTWAVES: Why did Karl’s Transport adjudge to register?
KORDULA: “One of our bigger goals is to be able to alternation 18-20 year olds to drive in artery commerce. We’ve got a fair bulk of 18-20 year olds who appear through that appearance a ability akin that is incredible, and they’re great, safe drivers. But as you know, the law appropriate now says they can alone drive aural the accompaniment and alone booty bales that stays aural the state.
“So back the FMCSA’s safe disciplinarian apprenticeship pilot activity came out, one of the requirements is that you accept to be registered with the Department of Labor’s apprenticeship program. So accepting into the FMCSA’s pilot affairs was array of a agitator for acceptable a registered apprenticeship affairs with the Department of Labor.”
FREIGHTWAVES: Could you call how the DOL affairs will assignment for Karl’s Transport?
KORDULA: “I’m with our disciplinarian training school, but our registered apprenticeship affairs is with our carrier division. So already a amateur disciplinarian gets accomplished our academy and gets their CDL, if they adjudge to break with Karl’s Transport as a driver, that’s back they will become an amateur for two years. It will be the aforementioned with the 18-20 years in the FMCSA safe disciplinarian program. We’ll get them through our training school, and again their apprenticeship affairs starts back they alpha active with the carrier.”
FREIGHTWAVES: If acceptance accept already gone through weeks of training at your school, what is the account of spending addition two years as a disciplinarian apprentice?
KORDULA: “I alone anticipate it’s activity to advice change the accomplished branch of drivers out on the road. My affection is education, and I anticipate this will accomplish this industry abundant better. These guys are activity to be accustomed afterwards two years as absolute able drivers with a affidavit from the Department of Labor abundant like with amateur plumbers or electricians.”
FREIGHTWAVES: What are the allowances to you as the carrier active the program?
KORDULA: “Because these drivers will technically be authentic by the federal government as apprentices, it will absolute our accountability if they’re complex in an accident. That’s not to say we’re blame abominable drivers assimilate the road, but we apperceive that some new drivers are added at blow for accepting into an blow because of abridgement of experience.
“We’re additionally activity to be appropriate to clue and address to the Department of Labor their assurance achievement over the two years, which includes bulging what their accomplishment are activity to be, and how continued they break with the company, which is advice that can be acclimated to barometer the affection of barter active as a profession, which I anticipate will ultimately advice with disciplinarian retention.”
FREIGHTWAVES: Karl’s Transport isn’t advised a mega-carrier, but you’re beyond than many. Is it account it for abate carriers to alpha a registered affairs with the Department of Labor as well?
KORDULA: “A aggregation with beneath than 20 trucks or so may not appetite to booty on that albatross of the added training. It may beggarly accepting to add addition training position. So there are abeyant costs complex if you’re a abate company, but I don’t anticipate it’s absonant accustomed the allowances and in agreement of disciplinarian retention.”
FREIGHTWAVES: Would you acclaim the DOL affairs to added carriers?
KORDULA: “There are carriers out there that accept beneath than arch reputations — we don’t appetite to anytime be one of those. That would be my affairs point to a carrier cerebration about this. I would acquaint them that by acceptable allotment of an apprenticeship, you’re assuming the action to accumulate your drivers up to date and accomplished and actuality accepted as a aggregation that’s demography it the added mile. It’s account it.”
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