More than three dozen high school students and young adults considering their post-secondary futures got the chance to learn about various career opportunities in trucking and get up close and personal with some big rigs.
The event, co-organized by the Toronto Business Development Centre (TBDC), the Ontario Trucking Association and Bison Transport, was developed to showcase some of the many opportunities and innovations throughout the Canadian trucking industry to high school students part of the TBDC’s Skilled Trades Summer Camp for Youth program.
Earlier in the week, about 40 students who expressed interest in trucking as a potential career listened to a presentation by OTA’s Marco Beghetto on the CTA’s Choose to Truck image and recruitment social media campaign. After getting a primer on the trucking industry; the demand for new workers as a result of the driver and technician shortage; and the Alliance’s efforts to educate millennials and Gen Z about trucking through the social media campaign, the students were bused today for a tour through Bison’s state-of-the-art headquarters in Mississauga.
There, they were guided through several stations, including a maintenance shop tour, a truck and trailer display in the yard, and am interactive operations/sales overview in the boardroom. At each stop, lively Bison employees explained the various roles and responsibilities of technicians, long and short-haul truck drivers, dispatchers, route planners and sales/marketing teams, among others. They also learned about the truck equipment, emerging safety and environmental technology, and software systems throughout the operation.
“The goal today was to promote trucking as a promising and fulfilling career path. With various stations providing comprehensive information and engaging activities, we aim to inspire these young, eager minds, offering them a chance to embark on a journey of exploration and learning in trucking,” says Jonathan Knott, program Manager at TBDC, Lead of Summer Program. “A career in trucking promises stability and numerous growth opportunities, making it an attractive choice for young people entering the labour market.”
The Skilled Trades Summer Camp is a cost-free summer training program with the TBDC and the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), aimed at helping young individuals develop workplace skills and have the opportunity to secure placement with employers.
This innovative program aims to provide employability and workforce development training to students through the month of July. The program also attempts to provide financial literacy, and mental health and wellness.
“Bison Transport was proud to host the TBDC’s Skilled Trades Summer Camp at our facility. This group of teen students and young adults, in particular, were incredibly engaged, inquisitive and many were very enthusiastic about learning more about our trucking operation and the many opportunities our industry offers to young Canadians,” said Dave Martin, Bison VP, Eastern Operations.
Added Marco Beghetto, VP of Communications at the OTA: “It was an absolute pleasure to work with Jonathan at the TBDC and all the great folks at Bison Transport to put on this event. With a mounting shortage of professional drivers in our industry, it is imperative companies reach out to young people who are starting to consider career choices and help them pave the way to explore a rewarding career path and opportunities in trucking.”
The TBDC is a not-for-profit business incubator, helping businesses launch, grow, and scale. As a government-designated organization, it partners or administrators program streams designed to help local and immigrant entrepreneurs startup, scale and grow.