Ten years ago today, Werner Enterprises partnered with the Department of Labor and the Department of Veterans Affairs to start the industry’s first Professional Truck Driver Apprenticeship Program. The innovative work-based learning program began with 1,043 apprentices with 117 of those using their GI Bill education benefits to invest in a future with Werner.
This apprenticeship is available for any driver with less than 24 months of experience and who is not a trainer or an owner operator. Eligible veterans, veteran spouses and veteran dependents can receive up to $22,555.20 tax-free of their GI Bill education benefits in addition to their normal pay for two years. Applicants do not have to be a veteran to participate in the program.
On June 12, 2015, Werner extended the apprenticeship program from 12 to 24 months and now more than 32,275 drivers have enrolled with over 4,500 using their GI Bill benefits. Werner expects to have its 35,000th total enrollee by year’s end. The success of this program led to other successful apprenticeship efforts at Werner.
In another industry first, Werner launched the first Diesel Mechanic Apprenticeship Program in 2015. Partnering again with the Department of Labor, Werner became one of the first ApprenticeshipUSA Leaders. Today, 167 companies have joined ApprenticeshipUSA’s efforts of finding and training dedicated workers to help grow the nation’s economy.