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Kelly Henderson, Executive Director for the Trucking Human Resource Sector Council Atlantic has been in the Trucking Industry for over 24 years. Having started her career in the Trucking Industry at a leading private career college for the trucking industry in Atlantic Canada, it was a natural progression to move to the Council in 2004. Her work has focused in a variety of areas, not limited to, recruitment and retention, training standards, certifications and building human resource capacity in the trucking industry. Over the years she has received many industry awards and recognitions for her contributions to industry. Most recently was recognized as Woman of the Year in Transportation for her dedication to excellence in the trucking industry. Continuous learning is one of Kelly’s top priorities. “The trucking industry has been very good to me – the best part of what I do is that every day is different – I experience new challenges and new opportunities regularly with ongoing opportunity to learn and grow.”

I have been part of this amazing industry for over 24 years and during that time I have seen a lot of growth and change within the trucking industry.  I started my career at a well known private career college in Nova Scotia.  I knew nothing about the trucking industry and was fortunate to be surrounded by a group of mentors who wanted me to succeed.  They shared their wisdom, their passion for trucking and their belief that everyone deserved a chance when they came into the industry.

I strongly believe the foundation that was laid for me early in my career has guided me all these years.  I believe that everyone in this industry contributes immensely to its success – everyone’s role – regardless of what it is – is important.  And I strongly believe Professional Drivers are the backbone of the Canadian Trucking Industry.

I am often asked why or how I distinguish a Professional Driver.  My response is simple.  A professional driver is anyone driving a commercial vehicle professionally moving goods in and out of this Country, in our regions, our cities and our towns.  We criticize the general public and media for not taking us seriously yet we hesitate to call them Professional Drivers in our own networks.

We all share the responsibility in changing the image and changing the perception in this industry.  It starts with recognizing the Professional Drivers for the professionals they are.  If we don’t, why should anyone else?

 What can you do to make a difference?

  1. Check your attitude. If you are a professional driver, do you recognize yourself as a Professional Driver?  If you are a fleet manager / CEO or administrative assistant, do you recognize the Professional Drivers in your organization?
  2. Check your company culture. What’s the water cooler conversation?  Is there a sense of respect when Professional Drivers are being discussed?  How are Professional Drivers received when they come into the office?
  3. Make and implement a plan. If you believe we have Professional Drivers in our industry and your company, implement a policy that reflects those beliefs.  Start educating your entire company and start changing how your company sees and celebrates its Professional Drivers.  I’ve seen companies do this successfully with a significant boost in morale among their entire workforce!

Next blog post will focus on Leadership.

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Kelly Henderson, Executive Director for the Trucking Human Resource Sector Council Atlantic has been in the Trucking Industry for over 24 years. Having started her career in the Trucking Industry at a leading private career college for the trucking industry in Atlantic Canada, it was a natural progression to move to the Council in 2004. Her work has focused in a variety of areas, not limited to, recruitment and retention, training standards, certifications and building human resource capacity in the trucking industry. Over the years she has received many industry awards and recognitions for her contributions to industry. Most recently was recognized as Woman of the Year in Transportation for her dedication to excellence in the trucking industry. Continuous learning is one of Kelly’s top priorities. “The trucking industry has been very good to me – the best part of what I do is that every day is different – I experience new challenges and new opportunities regularly with ongoing opportunity to learn and grow.”

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