Samuel, Son & Co. donates $9,700 to truck driver scholarship

John G Smith

Samuel, Son & Co. doesn’t hire entry-level truck drivers as soon as they finish their training. The business of moving steel isn’t an entry-level job by any means. But that hasn’t stopped it from supporting a future generation of truckers.

For the second year in a row, the Ontario-based business has covered the cost of a full driver training scholarship to support a female trainee identified by the Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada.

Tia MacNeil (second from the right) is pursuing her dream job on the road with support from Samuel, Son & Co. (Photo: John G. Smith)

The initiative emerged through Samuel’s diversity, inclusion, belonging, and corporate social responsibility initiatives.

“They’re leading the way from a trucking company perspective,” says Shelley Uvanile-Hesch, CEO of the Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada. “It goes to show this company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.”

“For us, this is such a perfect convergence of two thoughts. One is the whole diversity agenda and how … we need to attract a more diverse workforce,” says Colin Osborne, president and CEO of Samuel, Son and Co.

But the business also operates a substantial fleet, he adds, referring to its 230 trailers and 165 power units.

Tia MacNeil, this year’s scholarship recipient, will be trained through the Ontario Truck Driving School.

“It’s always just been a passion of mine. I love being out on the road,” MacNeil says, noting why she wants to pursue a career in trucking.

“A long-term goal with my partner and I is to become a team, and I just want to be part of the growing number of women and support women out there on the road.”

Trucking HR Canada reports that just 3.5% of Canada’s truck drivers are women.

John G Smith

John G. Smith is the editorial director of Newcom Media's trucking and supply chain publications -- including Today's Trucking, trucknews.com, TruckTech, Transport Routier, Inside Logistics, Solid Waste & Recycling, and Road Today. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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  • Way to go Samuel, Son & Co !
    Great news that someone actually thinks ahead of time and help new people become truck drivers.
    On the other hand programs like that are in Canada since the 1990 in Manitoba women and native Canadians could get their licence for free trough EI and not many did.
    Why don’t we focus on insurance companies preventing 19-21 old to start the trucking job by letting companies to hire them into some kind of truck driving apprenticeship as soon the finish the high school and obtain truck driving licence.
    Have them drive through Canada or locally.
    Right now in Ontario to get insurance coverage for a truck driver you have to be 21 and over and have at least two or three years of experience which makes you almost 24 before you can actually drive a truck in Ontario but you can get the license at 18 years of age. So even if they able to pay for truck driving school $5,000-$10,000 in Ontario they still can’t drive until at least 24 if they lucky.

    • Sounds brilliant. You can cover the liability damages from drivers in those age range instead of the rest of the industry shouldering the burden like they do now.

  • This is a wonderful this they are doing here . And I am not only saying that because I am Tia’s partner . Her and I have a dream of having our own Peterbilt 389 decked out with all the trimmings and just travel the highways of the USA and Canada . We cannot wait for the day this takes place . Thank you to the Samuel group for doing such a wonderful thing here supporting women in trucking !

  • I believe that truck driving should be a trade, just like a electrician. Trade schools should have courses that not only include steering a truck, but basic mechanics, so a driver can change an airline or cage a brake. They should also be taught about the legalities of BOL’s and how to complete proper paperwork. They should have an understanding of IFTA, and what makes up an over-dimensional load and when they require permits. They should also understand DOT standards, and proper pre and post trips. The course should include WHMIS, TDG, H2S and basic first aid as an option. I applaud Samuel for their participation in helping bring women into the our workforce and wish more companies like them would do the same.

  • This is amazing!!! Good for you Samuel Trucking. In the past year we have had so much heartache so this is a welcome blessing and Tia is a friend of mine as I grew up with her partner Devon. They are a great couple and great people. Thank you Samuel for breaking down barriers for woman in the trucking industry which is bar none the backbone of the economy!!!