Watkins and Shepard Trucking CEO named Innovator of the Year
Helena, Mont. –– Watkins and Shepard’s chairman and chief executive officer, Ray Kuntz was recently recognized as Innovator of the Year by Commercial Carrier Journal Magazine. Kuntz is also vice chairman of the American Trucking Associations, and for several months he has co-chaired an ATA-Truckload Carriers Association task force on driver recruiting.
With Kuntz’s experience in driver recruitment, he understands that more drivers could be trained per year if they simply had the financing. Kuntz’s idea to solve the growing problem was that banks involved in financing equipment could also offer the financing of driving school tuition. It seemed logical, because increasing the supply of drivers should encourage fleets to grow.
Kuntz met with senior management of Transportation Alliance Bank, a subsidiary of Flying J that works exclusively in the transportation industry, to discuss a new financing plan for driver recruiting. J.J. Singh, vice president of financial services for Flying J and chairman and president of TAB agreed to support Kuntz idea. The initial test of the program was done in partnership with Sage Technical Services, which has 30 driving school locations across the country. The program has since been expanded to include other driving schools in locations where Sage did not have a presence. The program was finalized in late September, and as of January 31, 2006, over 80 students have applied.
The program allows prospective drivers, who do not have the funds for training and do not qualify for traditional financing, to be considered for a low-interest loan that would be paid off in two years. The prospective driver must agree to work for Watkins and Shepard after getting a CDL. Watkins and Shepard co-signs the loan and the driver would go through a normal hiring process with the company.
Watkins and Shepard is located Missoula, Montana with 30 years of service to customers and drivers. Call 800-548-8895 and ask for Recruiting for more details.