The Truck Rental and Leasing Association (TRALA), along with member company Ryder System, participated in a Hire Our Heroes forum at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce last Thursday. First Lady Michelle Obama, who addressed the group, spoke of the administration’s commitment to initiatives focused on promoting the hiring of veterans.

Yesterday’s forum included discussions among veterans groups, non-profit organizations and private sector executives. “Veterans bring character, dedication, leadership and in many cases a honed set of skills very much needed by our industry,” noted TRALA president & CEO Tom James.

The organization is actively working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to promote and facilitate the hiring of military veterans within the truck renting and leasing industry, according to James. Working through the Chamber’s Hiring Our Heroes program, TRALA is helping pave the way for hiring vets by streamlining diesel technician certification requirements and linking veterans seeking jobs with potential employers in the industry.

TRALA will also be working with the U.S. Chamber and other partners to bring together job applicants leaving military service and employers. Regional job fairs, websites and other tools will be utilized by TRALA and its member companies in this effort.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched its Hiring our Heroes program in March of 2011 in partnership with the Dept. of Labor (DOL) Veterans Employment and Training Service (DOL VETS), to improve public-private sector coordination in local communities. The year-long program also involves state and local chambers, DOL VETS, the Military Spouse Employment Partnership, the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), as well as other partners.