Channel 19

Todd Dills

Women in Trucking go for Pepsi Refresh grant

| November 09, 2010

In a presentation at the Truckload Carriers Association/ACS “Perfect Storm” conference in Nashville, sponsored by Overdrive‘s owners, Randall-Reilly Business Media and Information, Women in Trucking’s Ellen Voie (pictured) talked about her organization’s work identifying and remedying difficulties some women, particularly new entrants, face in the industry, in particular opportunities for harassment that arise in training situations. “We are working with J.J. Keller to come out with a white paper on best practices,” she said, for male trainer/female trainee situations. Likewise, WIT, founded in 2007 and now with more than 1,500 members, is among many finalists in the November running for a $250,000 grant from the Pepsi Refresh Project to, in part, build a trucking-specific crisis hotline for men and women alike. If WIT ends up as one of two final winners to receive the most votes in the $250,000 category,  “we’re working with a crisis-line center to create a toll-free number in the trucking industry,” Voie said.

Following find their press release on the project, and you can vote for it daily through November 30 via http://refresheverything.com/womenintrucking or send a text (“104025″) to Pepsi (73774) to have your vote counted.

From WIT:
The Women In Trucking Association’s mission includes addressing obstacles that might keep women (and men) from succeeding at a career in the trucking industry.  One of these obstacles has been identified as driver harassment.  This includes negative comments on the CB, in the truck stop or terminal, at loading docks or even in the cab of the truck.

Pepsi is giving away million of dollars each month to fund refreshing ideas that change the world. The ideas with the most votes will receive grants.  Women In Trucking submitted a $250,000 grant proposal to create a toll free crisis line for professional drivers.  The project was approved on November 1 and is now open for votes, which will determine which projects are funded.

This grant would allow us to:

•    Research the need for a national driver crisis line.

•    Create a toll free crisis line for drivers and their families.

•    Offer educational materials to address health and wellness issues.

•    Provide a “best practices” guide for carriers to address driver needs.

•    Develop policies for driver trainer-trainee relationship during over the road training.

These resources would extend beyond our members to include all professional drivers (3.4 million), both men and women and their families. Small carriers (fewer than 20 trucks) comprise 96 percent of interstate trucking companies and most do not have the resources to offer this service to their drivers.   This project could be implemented in fewer than six months with the help of FEI Behavioral Health, a leading provider of workforce solutions and crisis management programs.

The voting process will end on November 30, 2010 and the grant will be limited to the top two vote getters in the $250,000 category.  To vote, visit http://www.refresheverything.com/womenintrucking or send a text (104025) to Pepsi (73774) to have your vote counted.

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