The National Transportation Center
A combined Training Center and Work Center
The for-hire trucking industry is facing a shortage of drivers. Despite the national unemployment rate being over 7%, the industry struggles to find enough qualified drivers. The current shortage of roughly 25,000 is due to a multitude of reasons, including demographic, regulatory, and the fact that drivers are away from home for a period of time, among other factors.
The below excerpt from the 2014 “CRITICAL ISSUES IN THE TRUCKING INDUSTRY” prepared by The American Transportation Research Institute expresses the magnitude of just the lack of qualified drivers.
“With the exception of 2009 – when overall freight demand was down as a result of the Great Recession and truck fleets were reducing capacity both in terms of trucks and drivers, the driver shortage has also been a top five industry concern since 2005. The issue continues to generate significant industry press coverage as fleets and their customers continue to experience a capacity crisis due to the shortage of qualified drivers. And, the outlook for the future is not promising. The ATA projects that the industry could face a delta of almost 240,000 drivers between driver supply and demand by the year 2022 if the trend does not reverse. Therefore, it is likely that the driver shortage will continue its reign as a top industry issue for the foreseeable future.”
Murry Fitzer, CEO of Florilli Transportation said:
“I think the major issue facing the trucking industry today and well into the future is going to be the situation with drivers and labor in general. As I look at the demographics of the pool of drivers in our industry we’re going to be losing ground on that basis and certainly if we don't do something to bring new people into that realm of driving career that's going to continue to become more of a critical issue we can certainly address some things with size and weight of trucks but that still going to be a Band-Aid solution for what may haunt our industry for some years to come.”
The National Transportation Training Center (NTTC) and National Transportation Work Center (NTWC) are dovetailed entities focused on creating and deploying the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) essential for quickly refortifying the U.S. transportation industry and hence transforming it into a national model for integrations of education, technology, trades, industry, and work force development and sustainment.
NTTC operates as a non-profit running the schoolhouse and focused on the recruiting and training of personnel with an emphasis on military veterans and transitioning active duty.
NTWC operates as a for-profit outgrowth of the existing Trucknet work center, which has serviced the trucking industry for decades as a life cycle rework facility. NTWC provides integrative hands-on training complimenting NTTC schoolhouse coursework, and enabling more cost effective support to life cycle demands of the industry within a one-stop-shop for radiator-to-tailgate maintenance and repair.
Adjunct to the primary missions the cooperative entities include participation in National Infrastructure Protection programs such as the Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Consortium addressing security related issues as outlined in the Department of Homeland Security CIP Program and related Presidential Executive Orders. Transportation is one of the sixteen sectors spelled out in CIP and which has comprehensive needs for reviewing and addressing varied security related issues, especially cyber attack of networks and critical communications.
The NTTC and integrated NTWC facilities are located in Indianapolis, IN on a 200 acre tract allowing expansion as demand and as the effort enters into rail, sea and air transportation.
Known as the "Crossroads of America", Indiana ranks among the top 10 states in more than 50 logistics categories, including No. 1 in pass-through interstates. The state's central location, business-friendly environment and extensive transportation infrastructure have made this state a leader in the world of logistics. As a result, more than a billion tons of freight travels through the state each year and Indiana has become one of the best places to grow businesses that rely on the movement of goods.
‘Indianapolis is dubbed the Crossroads of America for a reason; it is the most centrally located major city in the United States. Seventy-five percent of all businesses in the United States are within a one-day truck drive and more interstate highways intersect in the Indianapolis region than anywhere else, including I-65, I-70, I-74, I-465.
The Indianapolis region is also ranked #1 in the country in total highway miles and is virtually delay free when it comes to truck freight transport. This provides for quicker fulfillment, better customer satisfaction and lower costs.
The Indianapolis region is already home to 1,500 logistics-focused companies, employing over 50,000 experienced workers. Companies like Celadon Group Inc., Ozburn-Hessey Logistics, Logisco,
Indiana state and local government are ramping up competitive incentive and assistance packages including refundable employment-based income tax credits, employee training expense assistance, single sales apportionment tax factor, infrastructure cost assistance and local property tax abatement allowances. Recent wins that demonstrates how Fortune 500 companies are recognizing the logistical advantages of the Indianapolis region include new operations for Toyota, Honda, Wellpoint, Arbonne and Nestle. These expansions and strong existing worldwide companies, such as Wellpoint, Eli Lilly, Rolls Royce, Dow AgroSciences, Allison Transmission, NCAA and Roche Diagnostics contributed to a record year in economic development. The Indy Partnership announced that the Indianapolis region attracted over $1.7 billion in capitol investment for 2006, more than doubling 2005’s total.”
The execution of the plan depends on the direct participation by the entire industry that the Centers will serve. The participation of the full spectrum of industry will be primarily via contributions, which can either be through tax-exempt contributions into the Wounded Warrior Corps fund for NTTC, or via TBD investment opportunities within the for-profit Center.
Industry participants will receive benefits such as dedicated offices for recruitment purposes, collaboration, and training spaces for company specific train-the-trainer and other training related functions. Industry presence will be one of the key synergies energizing operations and mission execution.
Collectively NTTC and NTWC foresee investments in the project of $40M.