This week’s Hiring Our Heroes Sitrep podcast guest is Quinton Ward, an Army veteran and the 2018 winner of Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence award campaign sponsored by Kenworth, FASTPORT and Hiring Our Heroes.
Born at Fort Polk to a military family, the military has been in Ward’s blood from birth. During his military career, Ward worked as a mechanic, instructor and career counselor before becoming medically retired in 2010. After six years of undergoing medical treatment, Ward began to seek a new career. Utilizing the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Vocational Rehabilitation Program, Ward earned his Commercial Driver’s License and joined Werner Enterprises.
Last December, Ward was named the 2018 Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence award winner and presented with keys to a fully-loaded Kenworth T680 truck and the opportunity to be an owner-operator. Today, Ward works as a regional manager and field recruiter at Werner Enterprises.
Listen in as Ward describes the opportunities for transitioning veterans in the trucking industry on this episode of the Hiring Our Heroes Sitrep podcast.
Top Takeaways from “Transition Trucking Honors All Transitioning Veterans”
1. The Transition Trucking award was established in 2016 as part of an effort to curb the driver shortage and create jobs for transitioning military service members. One winner is selected each year among veterans, National Guard members and Reservists who successfully transition to the trucking industry following their military service.
“When we talk about opportunities and growth in this industry, it’s alarming how many truck drivers we need.” – Quinton Ward, 2018 Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence award winner
2. The Transition Trucking campaign showcases military veterans.
“We always hear about job opportunities for military veterans and helping military veterans grow and transition out of the military. But this Transition Trucking campaign is not just to honor one veteran; it’s to honor all of the veterans that are transitioning.” – Quinton Ward, 2018 Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence award winner
3. Ward recommended that the 2019 Transition Trucking finalists – Christopher Bacon, Wade Bumgarner, Joseph Campbell and Steve Harris – use this opportunity to build their networks.
“This is your opportunity to showcase what military veterans can do, why this industry is great and why trucking makes sense for military members.” – Quinton Ward, 2018 Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence award winner
4. Truck drivers need to be responsible, self-reliant and have good time management skills.
“When you are out there on the road, you are making decisions that most military members have been taught and trained to handle. Time management plays a big part when we talk about driving trucks. You are given a place to pick up a load and a place to deliver the load, but getting from point A to point B is up to the driver. There’s a lot of responsibility that’s goes with being behind the wheel of that truck and I found that service members handle that responsibility very well.” – Quinton Ward, 2018 Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence award winner
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5. Veterans may want to explore new career opportunities during their military transitions.
“Don’t limit yourself. In the military, we are given a series of numbers with a letter identifier and that’s our job. As you’re transitioning out, there is a plethora (of career opportunities) and organizations, such as Hiring Our Heroes, are there to put those in front of you.” – Quinton Ward, 2018 Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence award winner