NFI Driver Praises 90-Day Trucking Apprenticeship at White House

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Maria talks at White House podium about trucking apprenticeship

Camden, N.J., April 5, 2022 – NFI, a leading supply chain provider, joined an event at the White House yesterday showcasing the Biden Administration’s 90-Day Trucking Apprenticeship designed to grow the trucking industry’s workforce and bolster the U.S. supply chain. 

NFI’s apprentice driver, Maria Rodriguez, spoke about her journey to truck driving after being laid off from the restaurant industry during the Covid-19 pandemic. As a new mom, she needed a job to provide for her family while being close to home. Rodriguez, a first-generation immigrant from Venezuela, attended the New England Tractor Trailer Training School (NETTTS) and immediately felt comfortable in the typically male-dominated trucking field. 

During her time at the NETTTS, NFI’s core family values and local routes stood out to Rodriguez. “My family and home time are everything to me, so I knew NFI would be my top choice,” said Rodriguez. NFI offered Rodriguez a driver trainee opportunity after she completed driving school. Once hired, she received hands-on training and mentorship, all while being able to provide for her family. “I love that my schedule is consistent, and I get home before my son finishes school.”

The Biden Administration’s 90-Day Trucking Apprenticeship Challenge is designed to build clear paths to careers in truck driving that are fulfilling and offer endless opportunities. The “Trucking Action Plan,” unveiled last year, focuses on “building supply chain resilience through better quality trucking jobs.” Per industry estimates, truckers move 72% of the U.S. economy’s goods. Still, the Covid-19 pandemic saw a spike in labor shortages for the industry, with the American Trucking Association citing that the sector was short 80,000 drivers.

Realizing the need for a driver training program, NFI has been at the forefront for more than five years in offering paid on-the-job training. NFI’s training program provides the knowledge and skills to drive safely for NFI. While in the training program, trainees are home every day, paid weekly, and receive immediate benefits. 

“Investing in our people and sharing our value of family is NFI’s number one commitment,” shared Bob Knowles, President of Transportation for NFI. “We commend the White House for shedding light on the trucking industry and their commitment to growing and training more talent.” 

Rodriguez is one of only seven percent of women truck drivers nationally. NFI and the trucking industry are making great strides in improving opportunities for women. The Women in Trucking Association named NFI a Top Company for Women to Work For in Transportation in 2020. NFI also recognizes its women drivers throughout the year in its “She Drives” initiative by highlighting female NFI drivers and encouraging them to share why NFI is a great place to work for women. Since the initiative’s launch, NFI has continued to increase its female driver population. 

Rodriguez thanked President Biden and Vice President Harris for leading the 90-day Trucking Apprenticeship Challenge. “As an essential part of the supply chain, I feel like I’m a part of something bigger than myself, which is rewarding,” shared Rodriguez. 

Learn more about working for NFI and apprentice opportunities by browsing our careers here

About NFI

NFI is a fully-integrated North American supply chain solutions provider headquartered in Camden, New Jersey. Privately held by the Brown family since 1932, the company generates more than $3.5 billion in annual revenue and employs over 16,800 associates. NFI owns and operates more than 70 million square feet of warehouse space alongside a dedicated fleet of 4,900 tractors and 13,700 trailers. In 2024, the company will operate the first 100% zero-emission drayage fleet, leading the transition to zero-emission goods movement in the United States. NFI’s relentless innovation and unparalleled service deliver logistics solutions that transform the way business gets done. The company’s business lines include dedicated transportation, warehousing and distribution, eCommerce fulfillment, brokerage, transportation management, port drayage, intermodal, global logistics, and industrial real estate. For more information about NFI, visit www.nfiindustries.com or call 1-877-NFI-3777.