Alabama Trucking Foundation
We’re driving good for Alabama through outreach and scholarship.
The work of the Alabama Trucking Foundation signifies our ongoing objective to support and complement the efforts of the Alabama Trucking Association. We are committed to making a valuable impact on the important work of the Association. The ATA Foundation can and will make a difference as we continue to serve the membership in a variety of ways, as well as advancing the industry’s needs and its public image in Alabama. Created in 2018, the ATA Foundation is the 501(c)3 charitable arm of the Alabama Trucking Association.
The ATA Foundation is dedicated to:
- Advancing highway safety;
- Investing in meaningful research for Alabama trucking industry;
- Providing scholarships to young adults seeking a trucking-related career; and
- Creating an effective, ongoing image campaign for the trucking industry.
One of the greatest challenges for many of our members, especially over the past few years, has been recruiting and retaining qualified truck driver candidates into over-the-road and long-haul routes. According to the American Transportation Research Institute’s 2020 Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry report, a shortage of drivers ranked as the top national concern in the industry for the fourth consecutive year. On top of this, Alabama is also facing an acute shortage of qualified diesel technicians to maintain vehicles and equipment.
“Everyone in trucking knows of the challenges in our workforce,” says ATA President and CEO Mark Colson, “but the Alabama Trucking Association is not just going to talk about the challenge. We are going to relentlessly pursue solutions on behalf of our members. Whatever it takes, however long it takes.”
Several different factors attribute to the driver shortage facing the trucking industry, and like any multi-faceted problem, the solution requires a multi-faceted approach. To meet this challenge, a strategic partnership has been formed through the ATA Foundation with Markstein, a creative communications agency based in Birmingham that specializes in workforce development, to launch a public relations and advertising campaign aimed at increasing the number of people interested in pursuing a career as a commercial truck driver or diesel technician.
“As we began digging into this project, it became clear we would need a partner to help us keep a long-term strategic focus,” Colson says. “The talented team at Markstein has a proven track record, and in a short period of time, we have made tremendous progress.” Read more about this project here.
Another tactic of the ATA Foundation is to encourage young adults to seek a trucking-related career, either as fleet managers, professional drivers or diesel technicians. Initially, the Foundation will provide diesel technician scholarships for the first semester of 2019 to students at Wallace State Community College in Hanceville, Ala.; Lurleen B. Wallace Community College in Opp, Ala.; and Bishop State Community College in Mobile, Ala. Given additional support, the ATA Foundation will grow its scholarship program to provide additional financial assistance to those interested in seeking a truck-related career.
Unfortunately, trucking is under constant attack by those who fail to recognize the vital contributions we make to society. Likewise, our commitment to safety is taken for granted, and many forget the scores of jobs and services we provide Alabama’s economy. Such attitudes are nurtured by a continuous barrage of television and radio ads from law firms demonizing the trucking industry for their own financial gain.
An objective of the ATA Foundation is to counter these ill-fated opinions and attitudes by implementing industry image campaigns across a variety of media platforms to educate the public on trucking’s vital role and the extent to which our industry emphasizes highway safety. Already the Foundation has run advertising campaigns in print, digital and broadcasts media to showcase the value and professionalism of Alabama’s trucking industry. With additional financial support, the ATA Foundation will seek other ways to intensify its public image efforts.
Road Safety Awareness
The ATA Foundation wants to do more to educate teens about driving safely around large trucks and commercial vehicles. Motor vehicle crashes are the single biggest killer of teenagers. The nationally known curriculum “Teens & Trucks and Share the Road” programs were created in collaboration with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), Arizona Trucking Association, Arizona Department of Public Safety and American Trucking Associations. This is an excellent resource complete with instructor lesson plans, student workbooks, DVDs and pre- and post-test evaluations.
The ATA Foundation is reaching out to introduce these educational programs to all state public and private high schools and commercial companies that teach driver’s education. Unfortunately, there is not enough emphasis on the importance of understanding how to drive safely around large trucks and commercial vehicles. Both the Teens & Trucks and Share the Road programs are well structured, effective and can easily be incorporated into any existing driver’s education program. Please contact the ATA Foundation at 334-834-3983 to request a copy of the Teens & Trucks DVD, student workbook and lesson plan.
To make your donation to the ATA Foundation, please download a form here, and return it to us by mail, fax or email to:
Alabama Trucking Association
P.O. Box 242337
Montgomery, AL 36124
*Your contribution is tax-deductible.