Why U.S. Xpress is committed to putting more military veterans behind the wheel.
Supporting veterans in building meaningful careers after military service is the right thing to do for these everyday heroes, but it also benefits the customers who count on U.S. Xpress to deliver every day.
“Military service requires commitment, consistency, and flexibility,” said Alex Prince, an Air Force veteran and manager of Military and Veteran Talent Acquisition at U.S. Xpress. “Veterans have proven they are willing to go above and beyond for their country, and they do the same for their employers and their customers.”
A little more than 11% of the 5,141 drivers across U.S. Xpress and Variant are military veterans, and about 8% of the overall employee base of the company has served. Growing those numbers is an important goal, and Prince hopes to eventually see veterans make up about 20% of drivers for the company.
In addition to focusing on recruitment of military veterans, Prince works on bringing military spouses into roles with U.S. Xpress — a job he’s uniquely qualified to tackle, as his wife is in the Air Force.
“I served, and my wife still serves,” Prince said. “I understand both sides.”
U.S. Xpress offers a variety of programs to support military veterans in growing meaningful careers in trucking, as well as making support for military veterans one of our key areas of community giving. For drivers, driver managers, and diesel mechanics, U.S. Xpress offers the Post-9/11 GI Bill Apprenticeship Program. This program, which is approved by the U.S. Veterans Administration, provides veterans with competitive pay while they gain valuable work experience and training.
U.S. Xpress also participates in the Skillbridge program through the U.S. Department of Defense, which offers military service members the opportunity to spend the last six months of their military service working in paid internships for approved employers.
In a partnership that helps veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses find meaningful employment, U.S. Xpress supports Hiring our Heroes. And our community service partners include organizations focused on recognizing and supporting veterans, including Warrior Freedom Service Dogs, The National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, and Wreaths Across America.
For six consecutive years, U.S. Xpress has earned the Military Friendly Employer designation from Viqtory, a military recruitment and networking group. In addition, the company has received the Best For Vets honor from the Military Times two years in a row.
For veterans who are members of the U.S. Xpress team, a Veterans Employee Resource Group provides a community of colleagues who share resources and relate to each other’s experiences and perspectives.
“It’s a great way to help people connect and support each other in their careers,” said Wade Lipham, a military recruiting specialist at U.S. Xpress who spent four years in the Marine Corps before joining the company nine years ago. “But you don’t have to be a veteran to join — creating a network for veterans to succeed is something the company is invested in across the board.”
Making a place for military veterans behind the wheel has recently become a national focus as supply challenges and driver shortages gain visibility.
Officials from the U.S. Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, Labor, and Transportation are promoting programs to help separating service members grow careers in the trucking industry in an effort that launched in February with an announcement from the White House. Released by the White House in December, the “Trucking Action Plan to Strengthen America’s Workforce” points to veterans’ skills and experiences as making them excellent candidates to build the next generation’s trucking workforce.