AVON, Ohio – Recently The BRAKE Report posted an update on Knorr-Bremse’s philanthropical activities in North America through Knorr-Bremse Global Care North America Inc. (KBGCNA). Here is the latest announcement from the organization – with support from Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems – on its latest endeavor.
Next Generation in Trucking Foundation Expands Driver Training Opportunities With Support From Knorr-Bremse Global Care North America
Eduardo is a 4.0 GPA student getting his hands on the wheel and his eyes on a high-tech career. Leilani is a diesel technician aiming to drive over the road and encourage other women to enter the industry. Javier was a struggling young man who sought to make better choices. Eduardo, Leilani, and Javier are just three of the faces representing trucking’s bright future – and they took their first career steps at a California high school through a curriculum that the nonprofit Next Generation in Trucking Association (NGT) hopes to share nationwide.
To make more stories like theirs a reality and build a stronger tomorrow for trucking, Knorr-Bremse Global Care North America Inc. (KBGCNA) has awarded the Next Generation in Trucking Foundation a grant of $127,760. The Next Generation in Trucking Foundation supports NGT, and KBGCNA’s grant will enable NGT to develop a standardized truck driving curriculum that the association will make available at no cost to high schools starting truck driver training programs.
KBGCNA is the U.S.-based arm of a philanthropic entity operated by Knorr-Bremse, based in Munich, Germany. Knorr-Bremse is the global market leader for braking systems and a leading supplier of other safety-critical rail and commercial vehicle systems. KBGCNA centers its investments on initiatives supporting youth, education, and underprivileged populations.
Avon, Ohio-based Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC (Bendix) is one of Knorr-Bremse’s three largest North American companies. It plays a key role in the trucking industry as the North American leader in the design, development, and manufacture of active safety, air management, and braking solutions for commercial vehicles. The company will also play a key role in the facilitation of the grant under the guidance of two Bendix directors who will serve as project co-champions.
“Trucking is an essential and dynamic industry, and Knorr-Bremse Global Care North America and Bendix enthusiastically support efforts that encourage young people to explore its potential and become a part of it,” said Maria Gutierrez, president of KBGCNA and senior director of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) at Bendix. “KBGCNA also embraces the Next Generation in Trucking Association’s aim to reach high schools in areas where many students and families may be struggling economically. Education that results in gainful employment is our goal – to improve the lives of youth in need and to give them a chance to live an independent life. Trucking can be a lifeline of many sorts, and programs like this one have the ability to be life-changing for generations to come.”
A Head Start in Trucking
The Next Generation in Trucking Association, based in Prospect, Kentucky, is a grassroots nonprofit trade association with the focus of raising awareness about trucking careers, as well as partnering with and creating high school trucking programs. Lindsey Trent, NGT’s co-founder and president, and Dave Dein, NGT’s co-founder and vice president, launched the organization in 2020.
A year later, the Next Generation in Trucking Foundation was established, growing out of NGT to partner with schools and to provide scholarships and educational resources to start trucking programs.
“Our industry is facing an unprecedented shortage of almost 80,000 drivers,” Trent said. “Considering the fact that 71.4% of all freight travels by truck in the United States, the average age of a new entrant truck driver is 35, and the average age of a truck driver is 54 years old, we need to step up and take action. That’s why NGT was created, to tap into the growing number of young people who do not want to go to college and who are seeking alternatives that can provide good careers with stable incomes.”
Eduardo, Leilani, and Javier began their journeys into trucking at Patterson High School in Patterson, California, a Title 1 school where at least 40% of the students come from low-income households. In 2017, Dein, a teacher at Patterson, developed one of the country’s first professional truck driver training programs at the school to provide students with opportunities for high-wage, high-skill, and high-demand jobs immediately after graduation.
In the wake of the success stories coming out of Patterson, NGT has met with more than 100 high schools interested in starting truck driver training courses. NGT has developed a five-year plan, with the first year seeing the curriculum written professionally – through KBGCNA’s support – so that every high school starting a truck driver training program can use it for free.
“We project that within the first year of having the curriculum written, 35 high schools will implement the CDL training course using it,” Trent said. “Additionally, in years two through five, we plan to work directly with Title 1 schools to create these programs, because we strongly believe that everyone is entitled to a quality education and economic opportunities.”
To view the entire announcement, click HERE.