Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Alabama Trucking honored for workforce development

Above Photo: Alabama Trucking leaders celebrate the group’s Mike Russell Trucking Image Award from the American Trucking Associations. From left are Fenn Church, Greg Brown, Chris Cooper, Mark Colson, Harold Sumerford Jr., and Alphonso Lewis.

The American Trucking Associations has given the Alabama Trucking Association the Mike Russell Trucking Image Award for its work in promoting industry jobs and continued commitment to improving the public image of trucking. National ATA made its presentation during its 2022 Management Conference & Exhibition (MC&E) held earlier this week (October 22-25) in San Diego, Calif.

“(This) awards celebrate companies, organizations and individuals who use innovation and creativity to generate positive awareness of trucking,” said ATA Executive Vice President for Industry Affairs Elisabeth Barna. “ATA is in the trenches … working daily to continue to raise the public’s perception of trucking and the Mike Russell Image Award recipients are the pinnacle of this work in action.”

According to Alabama Trucking Association President and CEO Mark Colson, his organization’s workforce development effort, which is funded by the Alabama Trucking Foundation and its super-supporters group the Alabama Trucking TITANs, has made significant strides towards building a sustainable future workforce for trucking, particularly for truck drivers and service technicians.

“Our work reveals a relentless commitment to improving the public image of trucking with the purpose of transforming its future workforce,” Colson said. “This work centers on a career initiative campaign we launched this year with marketing communications firm Markstein called Careers in High Gear, which shares personal stories of actual industry workers to market to targeted audiences to influence their career path to trucking and drive them to training programs. We call this campaign The Real Faces of Alabama Trucking.”

You can see much of this work here.

Colson added, “The Real Faces of Alabama Trucking media campaign elevates the men and women working in Alabama’ trucking industry and highlights the many career and training opportunities available across our state. These drivers and technicians share what drew them to this growing field and why others should follow.”

The pilot campaign ran in selected areas of the state last spring and generated more than 500 contacts with an interest in enrolling in CDL or diesel technology programs. The program will be expanded early next year to include other areas of the state, including Mobile.

Since 2007, the Mike Russell Trucking Image Award has been given annually to an individual, motor carrier, trucking organization and industry supplier who each demonstrates excellence in illustrating the industry’s essentiality, professionalism and commitment to safety on and off the highways. The award is sponsored by Great West Casualty Co.

ATA won the state trucking association category. Other winners this year include:

  • TrueNorth Companies: For its work with the ATA and the ATA Federation, sponsoring various industry endeavors, as well as fundraising for important industry-driven organizations like the Warrior’s Drive for Hope, Florida of Honor and more.
  • Northern Industrial Training: For creating Alaska Trucking 101 – a program that tells the industry’s story to state legislators, policymakers, the press and the public.
  • Altec Industries’ Ken Calhoun: For his work with the ATA Technology and Maintenance Council’s development of TMCSuperTech: The Game and his efforts with the Be Pro Be Proud Vocational Tech Student Outreach program to help recruit and develop the next generation of technicians.

“The trucking industry is the backbone of our economy and plays a crucial role in not only maintaining, but also supporting overall economic growth and the demands that come with it, whether it be for food, vaccines, building supplies, electronics, or the oil needed to fuel our vehicles,” said Steve Ponder, senior vice president of Great West Casualty Company. “Many however take for granted the importance of trucking and the dedicated unsung heroes who work tirelessly, with professionalism to ensure we have the essential items that ensure our prosperity. We are having a positive impact on the image of our workforce and we are making a difference.”