NextGen Trucking to Establish High School Trucking Curriculum
Depending on who you ask, the average trucker age can vary. For instance, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that it is almost forty-six. One thing that statisticians can likely agree on is the trend that the number is slowly but surely going up, not down. In order to prepare the drivers of the future, a nonprofit known as NextGen Trucking has been formed and is developing a curriculum to entice future drivers.
Part of the reason why trucking has such a high average age is because drivers do not enter the workforce as a driver immediately, often trying out other jobs before settling on trucking. NextGen Trucking wants to buck this trend by showing teenagers how rewarding the career can be even for young folk.
“Currently, there is no standardized high school curriculum for this content,” Lindsey Trent, co-founder and president of NextGen Trucking, said in a statement, “so this program will help meet the need for career pathways into vital areas of transportation and logistics, greatly helping the trucking industry at large.”
The plan NextGen Trucking has for young recruits is in two steps:
- Use simulation systems for drivers under the age of 18 to obtain the closest to practical trucking experience they can obtain while also preparing them for the written test when they turn eighteen.
- Work with companies within the states where the curriculum is offered to provide interstate jobs for the new truckers before they turn 21 and are legally allowed to haul freight across state lines.
Lindsey Trent says she co-founded the non-profit trade association after falling in love with the trucking industry. “Considering the fact that 71.4% of all freight travels by truck in the United States, the average age of a new entrant truck driver is 35—and the average age of a truck driver is 54 years old [see what we meant by the average age changing depending on the source?], we need to step up and take action. That’s why NGT was created, to tap into the growing number of young people who do not want to go to college and who are seeking alternatives that can provide good careers with stable incomes.”
We hope that the endeavors of NextGen Trucking, whose training curriculum hits select high schools in September 2023, leads to a lot of fresh blood in the trucking industry and eases the transition to interstate hauling with which many younger drivers currently struggle.
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