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Trucking link for Aboriginal employees

CALGARY, Alta. - In an industry that's starved for drivers, the Aboriginal community is often at a loss for why it hasn't been tapped as a possible solution. Many of its members are willing and capable to fill these positions, but fleets often ove...


CALGARY, Alta. – In an industry that’s starved for drivers, the Aboriginal community is often at a loss for why it hasn’t been tapped as a possible solution. Many of its members are willing and capable to fill these positions, but fleets often overlook them.

The Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council (CTHRC) brought the issue up for discussion at its Essential Skills Conference in Calgary, Alta. recently.

Chairman Roy Craigen put it best when addressing delegates at the conference.

“We have a Native community with the highest percentage of youth and we have failed to extend a hand out,” he said. “It’s unfortunate we have to talk about inclusion in 2004.”

His comments followed a keynote speech by Kelly Lendsay, president of the Aboriginal Human Resource Development Council of Canada (AHRDCC). Lendsay had just spoken about the “roots of exclusion” and while he said the trucking industry is making progress, there is still plenty of room for improvement when it comes to hiring Aboriginals.

Trina Maher, manager of Aboriginal skills and learning with AHRDCC followed up by giving a brief presentation on the organization’s Inclusion Network. The network is an online database of about 2,000 Aboriginal job-seekers which carriers can tap into while hiring. It allows carriers to search for drivers exhibiting the required skills and then contact them for more information.

Employers can also post their job openings on the site so prospective hires can fill out an application. Everything is done online and a tracking feature allows employers to track their hires, ads posted and other stats.

Economy Carriers is one trucking company that has embraced the program.

Marlene Egeland, vice-president of people development and culture leader with the ECL Group of Companies said “We were very pleased and excited to participate in this project. We were so impressed with the Inclusion Network we are now a member and we have some of our job opportunities posted.”

The organization’s Web site can be viewed at http://inclusionnetwork.ca


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