Driving Tomorrow: NTTC's Driver of the Year Champions Inspire the Next Generation in Trucking
The Next Generation in Trucking Association (NGT) has been in collaboration with the Future Farmers of America (FFA) and National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC) since its inception two years ago. In early November, NGT and NTTC participated in the 96th FFA National Convention, promoting careers in trucking to over 70,000 attendees, including students, educators, advisors, and parents.
The booth featured engaging activities like a driver simulator provided by Marvin Johnson & Associates and virtual reality headsets from Transfr. NTTC Grand Champion Driver Kenneth Tolliver from GD Trucking / Hoffman Transport, alongside finalists Dave Powell from Usher Transport and Pamela Randol from Highway Transport, represented NTTC at the NGT Booth. There, they not only promoted careers in trucking but also introduced the new NTTC image campaign, 'See Yourself in a Tank Truck,' while weaving in compelling personal stories of their lives as professional drivers.
Kenneth Tolliver expressed his enthusiasm, saying, 'I had a great experience talking to the youth and listening to their young minds. I loved hearing about what they wanted to do after high school and about their hopes and dreams. I think the future is bright for the industry! Not everyone I talked to obviously wanted to be a driver, but quite a few students were interested in a future in trucking. It was amazing talking to kids from Puerto Rico, North Dakota, South Dakota, and California. Having so many kids in one building was incredible. It has been one of the best things I have done since being named Grand Champion Driver for NTTC.'
Michelle Rayfield, Managing Director of Human Resources at Highway Transport, emphasized the importance of educating the next generation about trucking: 'At Highway Transport, we believe that the future of our industry depends on attracting and training the next generation of truck drivers. Trucking offers good-paying jobs with opportunities for advancement. But the industry is facing a driver shortage, and we need to do more to inform young people about the great careers available. We're proud to support Pam Randol at the FFA convention and her efforts to promote careers in trucking to young people.'
Pam Randol shared her experience, saying, 'Hanging out with the brilliant young minds was quite the experience. Seeing the participants' excitement about learning and trying new things was fun to be a part of and share. It's nice to know we have a generation enthusiastic about the future of our country and planet. To be proactive, to educate themselves, and to contribute their ideas. I enjoyed watching them drive the truck simulator and was intrigued by the virtual training from Transfr.'
Rayfield praised Randol as a role model in the industry: 'Pam is a shining example of what can be achieved in this industry. She's a hard worker who is passionate about her job and committed to helping others succeed. She is a great ambassador for trucking, and we hope she'll inspire young people to consider a career in this field.'
Dave Powell shared his perspective, saying, 'The convention was an amazing experience! I didn't know exactly what to expect going in, but I had a smile driving home from day one. The kid's enthusiasm and focus on their future were so refreshing. The convention left me with a rekindled love and a positive outlook for this industry. Attending this conference has revitalized my perspective of being a professional tank truck driver and my role of promoting the transportation industry overall.'
Promoting the trucking industry isn't just about increasing driver numbers; it's about transforming lives, supporting families, and fulfilling aspirations. Events like the FFA convention serve as both sources of inspiration and crucial educational platforms.
The Next Generation in Trucking Association is dedicated to advancing the trucking industry as a career choice for the next generation through nationwide education and awareness initiatives. As a leading national nonprofit trade association, Next Gen Trucking Association (NGT) inspires, educates, and provides resources for young people and schools, promoting opportunities within the trucking industry. For more information, contact Lindsey Trent at [email protected].