FASTPORT Moderates Trucking Industry Panel with Acting Secretary of the Army and Assistant Secretary of Labor, VETS

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As the son of a professional truck driver and former trucking employee, Acting Secretary of the Army HON Patrick Murphy understands how essential the industry is to the national and global economy. Because of its critical nature, HON. Murphy requested FASTPORT organize and moderate a roundtable discussion with trucking industry leaders in recruitment so he and Mr. Michaud, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans’ Employment and Training Services (VETS) could meet with Army Veterans who made a successful transition into the industry and discuss ways to bring more into trucking professions.

The trucking industry has a very high regard for military experience, regardless of a Soldier’s MOS. The trucking industry has committed to hire 150,000 Veterans. Veterans perform especially well in professional truck driving roles. The Soldiers participating in the Roundtable discussion were selected to provide a broad cross-section of Army Veterans all whom have made successful transitions into trucking industry careers.

Three professional truck drivers represented different types of truck driving jobs and spanned generations of Veterans from the Korean War to recently transitioned. FASTPORT also assembled a number Army Veterans that are among the most successful military recruiters in the trucking industry. They are on the front lines of Veteran recruiting and will be able to convey their unique perspectives about reaching and hiring Veterans in the current environment. In addition, a National Guard Veteran joined the discussion who found success in the advertising side of the trucking industry and shared her transition experiences:

  • Kayla Webber
    • Intelligence Analyst, Iowa Army National Guard
    • Account Executive, Conversion Interactive Agency, Account Executive for Conversion Interactive
  • Jason Schenkel
    • First Sergeant (Ret), U.S. Army
    • Talent Acquisition and Fair Labor Manager, USF Holland
  • Tim Hines
    • U.S. Army Veteran
    • Professional Day Cab Driver, USF Holland
  • Dave Harrison
    • First Sergeant (Ret), Infantryman and Career Counselor, US Army
    • Military Program Manager for Hunt’s Heroes, J.B. Hunt
  • Duane Boswell
    • U.S. Army Veteran
    • Vice President of Recruiting, TMC Transportation
  • Logan Hastings
    • U.S. Army Veteran
    • Flatbed Driver, TMC Transportation
  • Paul Thompson
    • First Sergeant (Ret)  and Recruiter, U.S. Army
    • Military Recruiting Manager, U.S. Xpress
  • Rick Buchholz
    • First Sergeant (Ret)  and Recruiter, U.S. Army
    • Associate Director Field and Government Recruiting, Werner Enterprises
  • Dave Conkling
    • U.S. Army Veteran
    • Freedom Driver, Werner Enterprises

“What is exemplary about the recruiters attending the roundtable is they exemplify the qualities and values of a Soldier For Life as they make certain Veterans find the right opportunity with the right employer—even if it is not with their company,” stated FASTPORT CEO Bill McLennan during the roundtable to HON Murphy. “These professionals will not leave a Soldier or Veteran behind on the employment battlefield.”

To that end, much of the discussion centered around how to eliminate Veteran unemployment and underemployment, and many employers urged the Department of Labor’s Assistant Secretary of VETS, Mr. Michaud, to consider lowering the barrier for entry into the trucking industry by helping Veterans get more accessible training throughout the country.

“By aggregating CDL training opportunities under one umbrella,” said Dave Harrison, J.B. Hunt Military Program Manager, “the DOL can help provide Veterans with real choice because  it would open up the entire industry, not just one school or one employer.”

Paul Thompson, US Xpress Military Recruiting Manager, summed up the benefits of this collaborative initiative: “Veterans will benefit from having the choice from a wide variety of options as they prepare to enter their skilled careers. No employer can hire every Veteran, so we need to work together to make this goal a reality.”

The recruiters agreed: This variety will give Veterans their choice opportunities that meets their and their respective families needs. By uniting, the trucking industry training academies will create a more inclusive model that lowers barrier to entry to skilled and gainful employment for more Veterans.

As an example, the heatmap below illustrates the density of job views by Veterans based on geography. From the map, it’s clear that job seekers are looking for employment in nearly every small town and city in the country. By taking an industry approach to CDL training, the trucking industry can better meet this obvious need by our Veterans to find great job opportunities in every home town in America.

FASTPORT primary job search data shows our Veterans are searching for jobs in nearly every small town and city in the nation.

FASTPORT primary job search data shows our Veterans are searching for jobs in nearly every small town and city in the nation.

This innovative industry-wide approach has the potential to allow the trucking industry to train many, many more our nation’s Veterans while establishing a successful template for other industries to follow.

“It is an honor to bring a united industry front directly to both Army and DOL leadership in the mutual effort to provide real economic opportunities to Veterans,” said FASTPORT CEO Bill McLennan. “As we continue to work together, I believe we will be a juggernaut in the mission to end Veteran unemployment and underemployment.”

HON Murphy added, “I come from a trucking family. My dad drove a truck; my cousin’s on a load right now in eastern Tennessee, and I used to work for Roadway before I joined the Army. And I will tell you, the trucking industry has really been at the tip of the spear when it comes to hiring our military Veterans and putting them to work in a great part of the industry and our economy.”

To learn more about Veteran hiring initiatives in trucking and how your company can help lead the industry, visit