“Change your mindset and problem will disappear” expert about driver shortage
A New York Trucking Industry expert says that the only strategy for righting the “driver shortage” is to change the mindset.
Kendra Hems, President of the Trucking Association of New York, said that there was a shortage of truck drivers before the pandemic, and with the arrival of COVID19, it has only been worse. But COVID is not the main thing that keeps people from entering the industry, the main thing is public opinion.
Expert says that recruiting new, younger drivers to replace those going into retirement has been a challenge because of the way truck driving is viewed. The job is hard, drivers are underappreciated, the hours are long, but the position is essential to the country, and that’s how Hems wants younger drivers to think of it.
Hems wants new, younger drivers to think about truck driving as it is -a critical component of the supply chain, and a position with room for professional growth outside of driving alone. She believes that only a change in mindset and public perception will help recruit new and younger drivers, and that TANY has been working on initiatives to try to change this perception.
Hems also points out that the New York State Legislature recently approved a bill that would allow 18-20 year-olds to get a CDL permit and begin training.
The bill is now waiting to be signed by the governor.