Dear Association Members and Friends,

Shortly after our Management Conference and Truck Expo in May, Mark Droubay, our then newly elected President, and I had a conversation about what he would like to see as areas of emphasis for the coming years. Of course, he acknowledged the great work done by our past presidents and leaders and expressed a desire to continue with their initiatives. We talked in great detail about the difficulties that companies are having finding drivers and technicians and discussed potential ways the association can help. We recognized that this is a tremendous problem and to fix it would require many approaches including technological advances, operational changes, educational and image programs to promote the industry and many others. Some weeks later the Convention Planning Committee met to identify potential themes for next year’s conference. It was decided that we need to promote, through many channels, the concept that “trucking is Utah’s business”. This reality will provide us the opportunity to educate the general public that 80% of all communities in Utah rely exclusively on trucks to bring their goods; that nearly a quarter of all vehicles operating on Utah’s highways at any given time are commercial and driven by well-trained professional drivers; that trucking provides one (1) out of sixteen (16) jobs in the state; further, that the trucking industry demonstrates continued improvements in safety by reducing commercial vehicle related crashes and fatalities. This is best demonstrated with the national statistic that reflects nearly a 40% reduction in large truck fatal crashes in the past decade. Our goal by stating that “trucking is Utah’s business” is to enhance the image of this great profession and demonstrate that the trucking industry is a fantastic employment opportunity.

I am excited to announce the implementation of two professional enhancement programs that will be offered by the association. The first is a series of human resource management courses designed to provide leaders, and future leaders, with information that will keep them current and compliant with labor laws while enhancing their skills in dealing with employees effectively. We have partnered with Todd Anderson, PlatinumHR to provide this series both in Salt Lake and throughout the state in a regional manner. Todd describes this process as follows.

“The first workshops will be held in October of 2016 and will have a dual purpose. First, introduce the program to the members in each region. Second, discuss the upcoming changes to the overtime laws that go into effect on 12/1/16. The 4-series workshops will officially begin in Quarter 1 of 2017 with the following goals in mind. One, educate members on various labor topics for them to remain compliant with the various labor laws and two, provide a forum wherein members can send their best and brightest to learn and better prepare to be tomorrow’s leaders

After each workshop, PlatinumHR will coordinate with the various Region Presidents and association staff to generate a Certificate of Completion for each of the participants. Upon completion of all 4 workshops, PlatinumHR and the association will create and send a framed/embossed Certificate of Graduation to each participant.  These certificates should be similar in importance to the Safety Certificates and others the association provides. The certificate can be used to enhance a resume in the event the employee chooses to move on, but also serves as a source of pride and demonstrates valuable knowledge in the event the employee chooses to stay with his/her current employer.

The workshops will each last approximately 1 hour and will be as follows:

  1. Sexual Harassment Awareness – Avoid the costly and devastating effects of sexual harassment in the workplace.  Learn what to watch for and what to do if/when you run into something that could shut down your business!
  2. Do’s and Don’t’s of Hiring/Firing – Learn about the landmines and pitfalls of hiring and firing from a 30-year veteran who was responsible for hiring 10,000 people/year for over 12 years and was responsible for recruiting 27,000 volunteers who participated in the SLC 2002 Winter Olympics.
  3. Recognizing and Managing Leaves of Absence – How to recognize and what to do when you run into situations where employees are out of work due to ADA, Military, FMLA, Maternity, Personal, Work/Comp, etc.
  4. Effective Communication in the Workplace – How to deliver constructive feedback, goal setting, motivation, etc. in a way that is productive and maintains open channels of communication.”

In May of 2016, The association held their first annual SuperTech Challenge. Although, this was a very successful and meaningful endeavor, we also learned that there were many areas that could be improved for future events. We determined that future SuperTech challenges would be enhances if a series of technical course were offered in advance of the competition. So, I am also excited to announce that throughout this year and in future years, the association will offer a Heavy Vehicle Technician series. We have already held two Electronic Diagnostic courses and will add topics relative to:

  1. Brakes
  2. Drivetrain
  3. Pre-trip Inspection
  4. Engine Electronics
  5. Electrical Diagnostics (again)
  6. Fasteners
  7. Fifth Wheel
  8. HVAC
  9. Service Information
  10. Steering and Suspension
  11. Tires and Wheels
  12. Wheel End

It is our hope that these courses will provide our membership with important educational opportunities that will enhance their individual businesses in an efficient and effective way. We believe that this type of training will also aid in our effort to make trucking an attractive employment options for current and potential new entrants to our industry. Your ongoing support will be critical to the success of these programs and of course appreciated.