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Heavy Truck Driver Shortage Alternatives

Reports and agencies around the country have reported and worried over the truck driver shortage for years, and there's been no clear solution besides offering additional incentives. However, more and more companies are hiring released felons, especially felons with nonviolent criminal histories, with success.

Not only is this pattern good for the nation overall, such employment is one of the largest factors in preventing repeat offenses, or recidivism, it also has benefits for the employers themselves. Trucking is one of the few careers that offers both job security and advancement without high education requirements, and looking past a criminal record can result in employees who stick with the same company for years and are less likely to balk at longer shifts away from home. Some companies hire them at the lower range of industry-average salaries to leverage the risk, and others receive benefits through the Federal Bonding Program and other national programs dedicating to lowering recidivism.

However, there are some liabilities. Some criminal records make drivers ineligible for government contracts, and other offenses can either prevent drivers from gaining specialty endorsements for the transportation of dangerous substances outright or cause a substantial delay. This means employers have to manage assignments around their employees' previous records or else bar potential drivers with felonies records from their company entirely, especially if the majority of their business is with state and federal departments.

Some carriers might hesitate at the reputational risk of hiring felons, while others, usually private or small companies, invite employees with nonviolent records to ease the cost of the driver shortage. For more industry news, go to Michigan Truck Sales & Equipment here.


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