Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that the veteran unemployment rate was down to 3.3%, the lowest it’s been since the year 2000. That rate is also lower than the non-veteran unemployment rate, which stands at 3.4. Although statistics like this are uplifting, there are still stories of veterans who are refused employment because of the injuries they received while serving. We at TDI are grateful that the truck driving industry doesn’t tolerate this kind of discrimination. This post focuses on truck driving jobs for disabled veterans and lists a few carriers who routinely offer employment to the brave individuals serving this country.
It’s a Legal Issue—And a Complicated One
Refusing employment to a disabled veteran could be a violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). There are two noteworthy cases of this within the truck driving industry. Although these cases don’t involve veterans, they’re good examples of the application of the ADA and its effectiveness in addressing disability-related concerns.
Years ago, a truck driving school was determined to be in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act after refusing an application from a man with hearing loss. However, the suit was overturned because the man’s inability to effectively communicate with his instructor presented a risk to public safety.
In another case, a man with a neurological-related gait impairment was denied entry into a private trucking company’s training program. The company refused him because they were doubtful he could operate the clutch. The man did his research and came back at the company with a lawsuit. This time, however, under the ADA, the man was awarded $90,000.
It’s plain to see that no ADA case is black-or-white. There are plenty of variables and situational intricacies that dictate the outcomes. The best thing companies can do is see each of these cases as part of a collaborative, ongoing effort to determine whether or not a disability would impair the applicant’s ability to perform the job.
That’s why the truck driving industry has made it a point to be more accommodating of disabled veterans. Not only is compliance with the ADA the legal thing to do, it’s the right thing to do—and it’s the least we can do for our disabled veterans.
Steve Williams and TDI’s Commitment to Veterans
Steve Williams served two tours in Iraq before his Humvee was hit by an IED in 2007 and he was quickly flown back to the U.S. Although he received excellent medical treatment, the fractures he’d received caused permanent nerve damage in his left arm, leaving it partially paralyzed.
Steve struggled for years to find a job that he could perform comfortably, and even after being designated permanently disabled by the VA, he refused to give up on his search for work. After learning about TDI, he dove into our training program and started his orientation with Schneider on December 17th.
Truck Driver Institute’s history is deeply entwined with U.S. veterans. Our founder, Thomas Gast, was a veteran himself—and he started this company with his own two hands. Working with veterans is at the core of our identity as a company.
It’s no secret that veterans, whether disabled or able-bodied, have an unrivaled work ethic. Veterans get the job done right the first time. That’s something the truck driving industry needs, and it’s something we at TDI greatly appreciate.
How Can Veterans Apply to TDI?
If you’re a disabled veteran, all you need to do to enter our school is apply for your certificate of eligibility. After you’ve received that, you’re free to enter our 3 week training program to get your CDL (commercial driver’s license).
Once that’s taken care of, and after you complete our training, you’ll go through our job placement program to get matched with the carrier that’s best for you.
A Few of Our Carrier Partners Who Provide Truck Driving Jobs for Disable Veterans
TDI isn’t the only truck driving company that helps our veterans. Since 1973, we’ve built up a network of carrier partners that represent the leading transportation companies in the country. Although a great number of them routinely hire veterans, here’s a quick rundown of a few that you’ll likely work with.
U.S. Xpress is known for being very welcoming and grateful towards veterans that apply. In fact, many veterans have access to their 2-year advanced rate of pay program, which jumpstarts your truck driving career as a veteran. Vets who take advantage of the 2-year program can earn up to $70,000.
Werner Enterprises has been ranked as a top 100 military employer for 8 straight years, and there’s no surprise there. Veterans who apply to Werner have access to their Professional Truck Driver Apprenticeship, which lets veterans use their benefits to pay for training.
Schneider National goes above and beyond for military veterans. To make sure veterans have what they need to easily transition into truck driving, Schneider converts military experience towards starting pay credit. They even afford differential pay if one of their employees is deployed for up to 18 months. If that wasn’t enough, there’s no off time required for annual training and weekend drill, meaning you get guaranteed home time.
Cypress Truck Lines accepts your military driving experience, allowing qualified veterans to get their training for free.
Averitt has surpassed their goal to hire 1,200 veterans by 2020. That’s because they’ve long valued the dedication it takes to serve our country. At Averitt, your experience in the military counts towards your training, meaning veterans are eligible for a steep discount.
Truck Driving Jobs for Disabled Veterans at TDI
Don’t let injury hold you back. We at TDI and our carrier partners closely adhere with the ADA regulations, and we don’t discriminate on the basis of injury.
To learn more about our CDL program or how we accommodate U.S. veterans, contact us online today or give us a call at (800) 848-7364. Thank you for your service, and we look forward to hearing from you!