Policy

Transportation Workforce

The DRIVE-Safe Act Apprenticeship Program The forest products industry relies on the transport of logs, wood chips, and biomass from the woods to the mill. Access to truck drivers is […]

The DRIVE-Safe Act Apprenticeship Program

The forest products industry relies on the transport of logs, wood chips, and biomass from the woods to the mill. Access to truck drivers is critical to supply mills with essential raw materials at competitive costs. Hauling of logs is in the top five commodities in 15 states based on weight.

In the U.S., more than 13 million individual truck deliveries are needed annually to supply the fiber for the forest products economy. The country is facing a massive truck driver shortage, which is increasing the costs of consumer goods and hurting the economy.

Key Facts on the DRIVE-Safe Act Apprenticeship Program

The DRIVE-Safe Act Apprenticeship Pilot Program, located in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, addresses the truck driver shortage by allowing young people (under 21) with an interest in truck driving to become employed in jobs with good pay and benefits. If successful, this program would remove the single biggest regulatory barrier underlying the truck driver shortage: the recruitment of young drivers.

The apprenticeship pilot program would assess the safety concerns of allowing these young drivers on the roads. This pilot program requires young drivers to have additional training and behind-the-wheel drive time in a commercial motor vehicle accompanied by an experienced driver. The information gathered from the pilot study will be used to determine if and how young drivers can safely drive commercial motor vehicles between states.

Why the DRIVE-Safe Act Matters

Reason 1: The country is facing a massive truck driver shortage which is increasing the costs of consumer goods and hurting the economy.

Reason 2: The DRIVE-Safe Act Apprenticeship Pilot Program addresses the truck driver shortage which is impacting the transportation of forest logs and products.

Reason 3: Provides a pathway to well-paid jobs for young adults seeking a career while keeping our roads safe.

Reason 4: Creates a supervised apprenticeship program for potential drivers that are under 21 years of age.

Reason 5: Keeps wood supply chain competitive.

Policy Objective

FRA is working with Members of Congress to increase support for the DRIVE-Safe Act apprenticeship program to attract new, younger drivers, within the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Women in Trucking Advisory Board

The proposed Women in Trucking Advisory Board would be charged with finding ways to attract women to the truck driving workforce. Women currently represent only 10% of all drivers.

Policy Objective

FRA is supporting the passage of the Women in Trucking Advisory Board that was also included in the infrastructure package.

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