Attracting young leaders to trucking

by Mike Millian

It is fair to say that attracting youth to the trucking industry has been a long-standing problem. How do we make it sexy? How do we communicate what is good about the trucking industry? Or more importantly, how do we dispel any misconceptions that might exist? It is a challenge for everyone in the industry, and it’s no different for private fleets.
Unfortunately, everyone can recognize it’s a challenge, however we all struggle with what the next steps to resolving it should be.

With the re-launch of our Young Leaders Group (YLG), the PMTC is taking a step in that direction. The YLG’s mandate is to assist in the development of young leaders in the industry. It seeks to provide opportunities for education, networking, business development and personal growth for those seen as the next wave of leadership in trucking. By extension, it will use media and tactics targeted at youth. As the network grows, so will the level of attention for youth both already in the industry, and those who we hope to attract to come into it. The long-term goal is to help create an environment that brings to the forefront what is great about the trucking industry.

The key for the YLG is to keep its presence in the news and on social media, and to target not only those already in the industry, but to get their messages out to those outside of the industry who we need to attract into it. A steady trickle of information and events to keep them in the forefront of peoples’ minds, through the use of different channels of social media, as well as traditional media. Who better to know how to get the message out to the youth, but the youth itself? The YLG already has multiple events and sessions planned.

The first of these is an information and brainstorming session at Sleeman Brewery in Guelph. The event is for YLG members only, and is a first in a series of events hosted by the YLG in the coming months. After the session at Sleeman, the YLG is sponsoring a “Biz and Breakfast” seminar. This event is being held in Milton, Ont. and will cover topics such as fatigue management, sleep apnea and will also present new research which shows correlations between driver-related human errors and personality traits.

After this, the YLG is sponsoring a session on effective social media on Oct. 20. The idea is to help all understand not only how to effectively use social media, but to also understand some of the pitfalls. If we can all become better marketers of the industry, it will go a long way towards ensuring we attract more youth to it.

These are only the first three events planned. The YLG is looking to target its demographic with fun networking and development opportunities moving forward. The goal will be to create a sustainable model of both attracting youth to the industry and helping them grow as well. Another great benefit to being a YLG member is the access that is gained to the PMTC Board of Directors, as young leaders are always invited as guests to our board meetings and invited to attend our conference and seminars. Let’s also remember the YLG Education Bursary, which awards two young leaders with more than $1,500 in funding to complete courses that count towards the PMTC Logistics Management Graduate Program.

Mike Colwell, the PMTC’s new Young Leaders Group chairman, and his executive team of Matt Richardson, Elias Demangos and Mathew Mares, have been working hard over the last year and have done a tremendous job setting forth the vision and mission of the group.

I have complete faith that this group is going to do an amazing job of attracting youth to our industry, and getting the youth that is already in our industry more involved.
If you are interested in learning more about the PMTC Young Leaders Group, or any of the seminars or programs mentioned above, contact our office at, or call 905-827-0587.


Mike Millian is president of the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada, the only national association that represents the views and interests of the private fleet industry. He can be reached at 

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