Oct. 28, 2013

Opportunities for employment are arriving by the truckload, and the organization behind the wheel is C.R. England.  Through its innovative Service to Semis program, the U.S. transportation giant affords veterans 21-years-old and older the chance to join its workforce by allowing them to earn a commercial driver’s license (CDL).  C.R. England recruits eligible job seeking veterans, immerses these veterans in the line of work, and sends them on their way to employment.

So how does a veteran start on the road trip of a lifetime?  In a recent phone interview, Mike Lynch, Senior Military Recruiter at C.R. England, detailed the process of this one and a half year old program.  Participants come to know “everything about a truck” by first attending a Utah-based, tuition covered school for a period of 17 days.  Hands-on training then occurs over a four to six week timeframe, during which veterans drive one of C.R. England’s highly reputable trucks.  The veteran solely operates a vehicle under the direction of a mentor at first, and the veteran later works alongside a “team driver trainer.”

While the work of Service to Semis may begin in Utah—California and Texas are other training locations—the trucks can move elsewhere.  The employment opportunities granted by C.R. England do not have to be short-term, and the organization makes it possible for out of state program participants to stay employed through the program once training concludes.  Lynch noted the expansive geographic reach of this initiative, and participants in Service to Semis do not have to remain in the state of Utah should they opt for longer-term employment.  After adequate training and receipt of a CDL, Lynch said, “Our trucks go with them.”  With unemployment being one of the factors responsible for veteran homelessness, this offering has the potential to put those at risk down a more promising road.

Lynch explained that current CDL holders can hop into the driver’s seat of this program, too.  While their process is expedited and unfolds differently than it does for those new to truck driving, the program can capture more of the veteran population because of this allowance.  In addition, age does not bar highway hopefuls from the initiative.  The majority of veterans in Service to Semis tend to be younger or middle-aged, as Lynch observes the common range of participants to be 28 to 45-year-olds.  He added, however, that people above this age range also participate.

When asked to discuss challenges associated with the exciting truck driving program, Lynch simply stated, “The hardest part is getting the word out there.”  This is a common problem for organizations handling veteran issues, and awareness must precede any initiative’s success.  Lynch works regularly to educate potential drivers by speaking with people at career fairs and sending literature to veteran representatives.  He also encourages people to access information about C.R. England’s efforts by reaching out to him directly.

For veterans looking to “rev up” their employment outlooks using this special opportunity, please contact Mike Lynch at the toll-free phone number 866-219-6080 or by email at michael.lynch@crengland.com.  To learn more about C.R. England, please visit the company’s website, www.crengland.com.

Article by Kyle McEvilly, Communications and Program Assistant