Among the plethora of trucking-related bills being introduced in this session of congress in conjunction with the pending surface transportation reauthorization, one piece of legislation particularly stands out as furthering the work of the trucking industry to attract new talent.
The Promoting Service in Transportation Act, which has been introduced in both the House and the Senate, would authorize $5,000,000 for each of the next 5 years to be spent on advertisements promoting career opportunities in the transportation sector. These jobs include aviation pilots, safety inspectors, mechanics and technicians, air traffic controllers, flight attendants, truck drivers, engineers, transit workers, railroad workers, and other transportation professionals. The bill also aims to increase diversity of professionals in the transportation sector.
TCA supports this legislation as it complements the work already being done from within the trucking community to promote our well-paying jobs to quality candidates. We applaud Representatives Rick Larsen (D-WA-2), Don Young (R-AK-At Large), and Angie Craig (D-MN-2) for introducing in November H.R. 5118 and securing 16 cosponsors. We also thank Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) for recently introducing the corresponding Senate bill, S. 3303, on February 13.
It remains to be seen whether Congress will move either of these bills. The general consensus is that no transportation legislation will pass without being attached to a larger surface transportation reauthorization bill. However, the window for this to get done is closing and the desire to work in a bipartisan fashion will all but evaporate the closer we come to the November elections. TCA will continue to advocate for bills like these to be moved and for Congress to advance comprehensive infrastructure legislation in 2020, and if not this year, then for meaningful changes to come for our industry in 2021.