MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – The Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario (TTSAO) is trying to drive more people into the trucking industry by hosting a “touch a truck” event for adults.
The group announced the event and sought marketing ideas for it during the carrier group townhall meeting at their annual conference.
The event – to be held in Mississauga, Ont. On May 26 – will be a hiring event focused on bringing in employees to all areas of the industry, not just drivers.
Carriers and training schools will be staffing tables inside with information about getting a license and job opportunities afterwards, while outside carriers will be able to display their tractors in a show and shine.
The TTSAO says the idea for the event came from Road Knights member Guy Broderick, chairman of the TTSAO Carrier Group. The Road Knights are a group of elite truckers through the Ontario Trucking Association that go into schools to teach students about the industry and show new drivers how to behave around trucks.
Broderick feels using the same method the Road Knights program uses at high school career fairs is a good way to promote the wide-availability of jobs to adults who may be looking for a career change.
The event will feature all positions including back-office staff, operations personnel, management positions, and those at distribution centers, to name a few.
“When you take a look at all the jobs that are in our industry, and all the positions that are needed, it’s not just about drivers anymore,” Broderick said.
With a strong economy and an unemployment rate sitting at less than five percent in some areas of the country, carriers are no longer just competing against each other for employees, but are also competing against industries like red sealed trades.
The group says they are expecting for a good turnout, and hopes carriers and schools alike will take the opportunity to show job seekers that technology and different driving practices mean the industry isn’t the same as it was 20 years ago.
Broderick says there is a persistent myth that commercial drivers are on the road and away from their families for weeks at a time – fleets know the reality is quite different.
A member from Manitoulin Transport said their drivers make up just 35% of their workforce, highlighting the abundance of non-road positions available in the industry.
Discussion of ways to advertise both regional driving jobs and careers in other aspects of the industry dominated the townhall, with members brainstorming how to reach not just older members of the workforce, but younger ones as well.
Members agreed looking to the future of hiring drivers means speaking to students in high school today, as well as trying to reach driving-age employees on social media in addition to using traditional advertising avenues like the job fair.
Members hoping to snag a spot at the event will pay $400 for a 10-foot table, while non-members will pay $600. Carriers wanting to register a truck to show off to perspective employees will pay an additional $500 for a spot in the parking lot.
Registration can be done through the TTSAO.
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