Going where too few fleets do to find new truck drivers—the urban cores of our nation’s large cities-- Con-way Truckload, subsidiary of Con-way Inc. [CNW], today announced it is partnering with U.S. Truck Driver Training School Inc. (USTDTS) of Detroit “to create affordable training opportunities for individuals seeking to enter the truck driving profession.” Con-way Truckload said it projects it will hire 40 new drivers a month through the arrangement with USTDS and note d the program will offer “discounted, subsidized tuition to qualified candidates.” The program is effective immediately.
“Detroit, like so many other cities across the country, has been hit hard by the economic downturn, which has created a more challenging employment environment than ever, particularly for those who want to pursue careers that require going back to school and learning new skills,” said Bert Johnson, senior director of human resources, Con-way Truckload.

“The trucking industry faces an acute shortage of drivers, so as one solution, we have formed this partnership with USTDTS to make it easier for individuals to enter our industry and join our company,” he added.

Under the program, students can take advantage of a reduced tuition rate and upon graduation, will be eligible to receive tuition reimbursement of up to 50% from Con-way Truckload.

All students currently enrolled at the USTDS Detroit campus are eligible for the Con-way prorgam. According to toe carrier, itplans to hire 40 drivers per month from the school, each of whom must --in addition to successfully completing the program and carrying a valid CDL-- meet Con-way Truckload’s employment criteria.

“We are very pleased to enter into this partnership with Con-way Truckload,” said Joseph LaBarge, president & CEO of USTDTS. “We are committed to providing high-quality training and education that puts safe and skilled truck drivers on the road. This innovative program will help us further that goal and create new jobs and new career opportunities for a community that really needs them.”

USTDTS and Con-way Truckload are also offering special financing and tuition payment plans for qualified candidates. In the event that a candidate does not have sufficient financial resources to fund initial tuition costs, USTDTS is allowing students to make a smaller initial payment and will provide financing for the remaining balance.

The curriculum at USTDTS requires students to complete four weeks of training, which includes 160 hours of classroom instruction and driving time. Upon successful passing of the license test and fulfilling all graduation requirements, students are issued their commercial driver’s license, and become eligible for employment with Con-way Truckload.

As an added incentive, Con-way Truckload is not requiring candidates hired from USTDTS to sign a “commitment” contract. The carrier noted this is a typical industry practice “where in return for the company’s investment in tuition reimbursement, the driver commits to working for a company for a specific period of time, or they are required to pay back the tuition reimbursement.”

Dropping that commitment feature is a “key differentiator” that provides graduates with flexibility and removes a potential future financial burden, according to the carrier.

“For a candidate who truly wants to pursue trucking as a career, has the right skills and wants to work for a great company with an unwavering commitment to safety, this is the team to join,” said Con-way Truckload’s Johnson. “It benefits our company, the individual and the community — truly a win-win for all involved.”

Individuals interested in learning more about the driver training opportunity with USTDTS in Detroit should go to www.true2blue.com/detroit_students or call 866-967-5487.