As part of its Operation Freedom program, Werner Enterprises has pledged to hire at least 1,000 veterans in 2013 and more than 5,000 veterans in the next five years.
According to the trucking company, veterans already account for 20 percent of its driver force.
To bring attention to the program, Werner has unveiled an Operation Freedom truck, which will be driven by David Conkling, an Army veteran, on his regular routes.
“This military truck is a special way for us to show respect and bring attention to our veterans as it
travels around the country,” Werner's president and chief operating officer, Derek Leathers, said in a statement.
Hiring veterans into the trucking industry is nothing new, and a number of trucking companies appear on G.I. Jobs’ 2013 list of military-friendly employers. CSX, J.B. Hunt, Schneider National and Werner Enterprises all rank in the first third of the top 100 list.
The U.S. government has also steered veterans toward transportation jobs. The Department of Transportation partners with the Department of Veterans Affairs to help veterans transition to jobs in the transportation industry, but help comes in the form of legislation as well.
In October, Congress passed the Military Commercial Driver’s License Act, which allows states to issue commercial driver’s licenses to active duty military members who don’t live in the state but are stationed there. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration passed a law in 2011 that counts military experience against the CDL skills test, asking states to waive their requirements for recent. - Jon Ross