Truckload carrier U.S. Xpress Enterprises Inc. said today it has been accredited by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to be part of the "Post 9/11 GI Bill Apprenticeship Program," which allows eligible veterans to receive tax-free educational benefits from the VA while training with the company as a driver or diesel technician.
Under the terms of the program, veterans can receive their benefits—up to $25,700, depending on their years of military service—as an income supplement on top of their U.S. Xpress salary. Today, a veteran entering the program as a driver can earn between $50,000 and $70,000 a year depending on which driving opportunity the veteran qualifies for. A veteran entering the program as a diesel technician can expect to earn between $35,000 and $50,000 a year depending upon experience and performance, according to Chattanooga-based U.S. Xpress.
Upon enrolling in the program, veterans can draw their GI Bill benefits for up to two years, giving them additional financial stability as they transition from military to civilian life. The amount each veteran receives depends upon the length of service and service type: Active Duty, National Guard, or Reserve.
"At U.S. Xpress, we value the strong work ethic and leadership experience veterans can bring to our company. Beyond that, veterans have a sense of productivity, accountability and a 'can-do' attitude that will serve them well in the trucking industry, which is why we actively look to hire veterans in every aspect of our company," said Eric Fuller, president and chief operating officer of U.S. Xpress, in a statement.
U.S. Xpress originally launched its "Military Recruitment Initiative" last July as a way to provide returning veterans with the chance to start a transportation career. The carrier's goal is to have veterans comprise at least 20 percent of its workforce. Currently, veterans account for about 11 percent of its labor force.