The transportation and logistics industry is facing a significant talent shortage – from professional drivers to technicians, and even logistics engineers. We continue to read about the significant impact of the driver and tech shortage on the industry.
A recent survey conducted by Northeastern University sheds more light on this. In the survey, CEOs of third party logistics companies cited having a talent shortage as one of the most significant issues they are facing in their businesses.
There are many ways to address this issue, but one that companies are not taking enough advantage of is hiring veterans. Veterans learn a variety of skills through their military services: logistical, mechanical, and management skills.
Veterans not only have skills that make them uniquely qualified to work in transportation and logistics, but they also bring other intangible qualities to the table, such as leadership, loyalty, and hard work. Yet despite the talent that veterans bring to the private sector, unemployment rates remain disproportionately high for post-9/11 veterans.
One of the key barriers to employment is credentialing and licensing. Another is helping veterans to communicate their unique military experiences and skills in terms that are relevant to the civilian workforce. The U.S Chamber of Commerce, through its Hiring Our Heroes initiative, has helped to engage corporate America on these issues. As a result, there has been great progress – including a pledge by several companies in the transportation and logistics industry to hire more than 100,000 veterans collectively. But there is still much work to be done to not only hire veterans, but to cultivate long-term careers that will ultimately benefit our entire industry.
Companies must continue to recognize the skills that veterans can offer, and help them match these skills to jobs in our industry. Businesses must also continue to invest in onboarding, training, and mentoring programs, to ensure we are retaining the talent we bring in the front door.
We encourage industry leaders to demonstrate gratitude for the tremendous sacrifices made by the men and women who have served our nation by supporting their transition back into the workforce and recruiting them for jobs in transportation and logistics.
To learn more about Hiring Our Heroes, visit www.uschamberfoundation.org/hiring-our-heroes.