Biden administration placing emphasis on trucking workforce
The Biden administration is increasing its emphasis on the trucking workforce to relieve supply chain issues.
The administration is implementing a 90-day action plan, placing an emphasis on training, and providing veterans, underrepresented communities, and apprentice drivers from 18 to 20 years old with trucking jobs.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg tells Brownfield the White House is working with the Departments of Labor and Transportation.
“We need to do more to make the process straight forward, taking some of the red tape out from getting those CDL’s, those commercial driving licenses issued,” Buttigieg said. “So that’s one step we can take right away. We also have got to take some longer term steps to make sure that this is a job that people want to stay in.”
He said that includes compensating drivers for time they aren’t being paid when trucks are being loaded and unloaded and adding basic infrastructure through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act like restrooms for long-haul truckers.
Buttigieg said resolving shipping delays is an urgent issue for ag products.
“Any time that you face a shipping delay, you run the risk of losing a customer,” he said. “Our ag products go all over the world because they’re the best in the world, but if they can’t get to where they need to be, customers are going to look elsewhere. That’s one of the reasons why this is such an urgent issue.”
Buttigieg said the White House will be engaging with drivers and industry leaders in the next 30 days to hear perspectives and begin working on scalable solutions.