The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) released a new report that investigates how to best integrate younger adults aged 18 to 25 into trucking careers. This research, a top priority of ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee in 2021, synthesizes a variety of data and analyses including younger driver surveys, carrier interviews, and the latest workforce statistics. The research also documents motor carrier perspectives on participating in the new FMCSA Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Program.
The ATRI research found that, while Millennial and Gen Z drivers are partially motivated by pay, the majority of them consider other factors equally or even more important when it comes to joining or remaining with a motor carrier. Eighty-four percent of younger drivers consider company culture important. The report goes on to describe initiatives, such as rewarding veteran drivers for informal mentorship, which can build the community-centered cultures that younger drivers seek.
Structured feedback was found to be a key factor in successfully training Millennial and Gen Z drivers, who desire coaching–a continual process of short, frequent, and more personal meetings–in addition to more traditional evaluations. Similarly, younger adults are more likely to enter the industry when fleets produce transparent recruitment and marketing materials that highlight both younger employees and expanded career paths.
The research also outlines three pathways toward creating high school trucking and logistics clubs to promote industry awareness among teenagers who are still exploring their career interests.