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How is the U.S government helping the trucking industry?


How is the U.S government helping the trucking industry?

American manufacturing and supply chains are already struggling. The reported 80,000 shortfall in truck drivers just compounds the issue. As businesses try to stay competitive in a turbulent economy, many of them need help. Thankfully, the Biden administration has brought several initiatives into play, hoping to ease the squeeze on available truckers across the U.S.

Explore what the White House is doing to stir excitement, growth and productivity in the industry before considering how it might benefit you too.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

Congestion, poorly maintained highways and collapsed bridges force vehicles to reroute or stay idle while a situation improves. In November 2021, Congress approved the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill: a $1.2 trillion package to fix many of the country's degraded or outdated structures and travel networks.

As The American Trucking Associations describe it, the bill represents "the greatest investment in highways and bridges that our nation has ever seen." In the next four years, we're likely to enjoy clearer roads and more reliable crossings, speeding up deliveries for thousands of supply firms. About $477 billion is reserved solely for surface transportation programs. This is good news for any trucker or employer who has experienced severe disruption to their quotas.

The Drive Safe Act

Part of the Infrastructure Bill included a small but notable change to industry accessibility. To fill the 80,000 trucker gap, Biden's administration has lowered the minimum age for interstate truckers down from 21 to 18. Any teenager out of their senior year can train as a truck driver and travel across state lines for their payloads.

This is a simple, welcome break to a persistent career barrier. Since Zippia statistics reveal that the average entry-level wage presently stands at $40,000, it's an enticing professional path for young people looking for their first serious job. The Drive Safe Act also highlights a two-step apprenticeship program in which, following CDL licensing, candidates can undergo 400 hours of on-duty and 250 hours of supervised driving time.

The 90-Day Trucking Apprenticeship Challenge

It's over now, but the results of this experiment show what better apprenticeship schemes can do for the trucking industry. For three months from December 17th, 2021, the White House partnered with the U.S. Department of Transportation to promote and accelerate training for new recruits. They aimed to involve 90 employers in 90 days. In the end, however, 102 organizations took part, hiring almost 600 apprentice drivers for full-time work.

According to the government's official summary, the 90-Day Challenge revolved around "creating new pathways into the profession" and connecting "with the Department of Labor (DOL) to explore how registered apprenticeship can help meet critical supply chain needs." As the program wound down, it managed to launch apprenticeships within 48 hours and nearly doubled their number nationwide. Employers are encouraged to explore the Apprenticeship USA website for ways to find, engage and develop fresh additions to their fleet.

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