Adequate funding, effective communications and marketing, and execution of plans in those areas are the next steps in Task Force Movement’s efforts to steer veterans into the truck-driving sector.
Task Force Movement (TFM) released a report on April 5 outlining the results of TFM’s first year. The Biden administration launched TFM in April 2022 to help lift the United States out of its supply-chain crisis by fast-tracking veterans into the commercial trucking industry.
“While there is no agreed-upon estimate, various sources suggest that there is a shortage of between 60,000 to 100,000 drivers and that number is expected to grow in coming years,” the report states. “The shortage of truck drivers is influenced by a variety of factors, including an aging workforce, high turnover rates, a lack of qualified drivers, and regulatory changes that affect hours of service and other factors that impact the work environment.”
TFM’s meetings identified four major themes in the challenges in training, recruiting and retaining qualified military-connected job candidates: transform the narrative and elevate the brand; increase access to quality training and employment; improve documentation, recognition and transferability of military skills; and explore linkage between whole-person care and veteran workforce success.
“Without adequate funding to implement the recommendations outlined in this report, the momentum built during the first year of the TFM for Trucking will be lost,” the report states. “Allocated funds will allow TFM and its stakeholders to provide necessary support services to develop marketing strategies, expand programs, conduct additional research, and implement evidence-based practices.”
The report calls for funding to be a collaborative effort between federal and state government, industry associations, private companies and philanthropy.
Effective marketing will help promote TFM’s goals to the appropriate audience, “to increase the visibility of solutions, attract potential new funders or donors, and encourage community involvement. Marketing can also help to differentiate the program from similar initiatives and communicate its unique value and impact to the overall trucking industry and other trucking stakeholders.”
Per the report, the Task Force Movement Steering Committee will review the report and develop an execution plan to find appropriate funding and engage communications and marketing.
The American Legion is represented on the TFM Board of Directors by Joe Sharpe, director of the National Veterans Employment & Education Division.
The full report is available here.