By: Ellen Voie
The Women In Trucking Association’s primary purpose is to increase the percentage of women in the trucking industry. In an effort to provide exposure to young girls who might not have considered a career in trucking, we initiated a Transportation Patch for the Girl Scouts of America.
In partnership with the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, the curriculum was designed to provide the girls with insight into the trucking industry. The event was planned for October 13th, which was Columbus Day and there was no school scheduled.
Olive-Harvey College in the southeast Chicago area hosted the event and provided a meeting area for the girls to listen and learn about trucking, as well as two tractor-trailers for the girls to climb in and learn about. Joanne Ivory is the Associate Dean of the college and coordinated the event.
The day began with a welcome from Ms. Harvey in the auditorium, followed by a short talk about careers in the trucking industry by Women In Trucking President/CEO, Ellen Voie. A video about trucks was provided by J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.
The keynote speaker was Dr. H. Lenora Hardee, who talked about her job as Chief Technical Engineer at Navistar, Inc. Dr. Hardee told the girls about the importance of truck cab design and how it relates both to comfort for the driver as well as aerodynamics and fuel efficiency. She explained that a proper fit is crucial and asked the younger girls if they felt comfortable in the auditorium chairs when their feet couldn’t reach the floor. She showed them photos of mannequins in cabs and how the pedals, steering, and seats must allow the driver to be able to reach all of them.
The girls were then led outside to where to tractor-trailers were parked and numerous instructors were available to talk to them about the skills needed to drive a truck. Older Scouts were allowed to climb into the trucks and see the view from the driver’s seat. They learned about the parts of the tractor and trailer and the importance of maintaining the equipment for efficiency and safety.
Ms. Ivory had activities ready for the girls when they returned to the auditorium. First, they were given maps and asked to identify things on the maps and to look at the geography of the rivers, roads, and state borders. They were then provided with cardboard trucks to assemble and to take home after the event.
At the end of the event, each Girl Scout was presented with the first ever Transportation Patch for her sash. They were all surprised to receive goodie bags from Women In Trucking Association with items from corporate members and sponsors. The cost of the patches was paid for by C. H. Robinson, Inc.
There were eighty-four girls ranging in age from four to thirteen who attended the Girl Scout day at Olive-Harvey College. Accompanying the girls were many moms and dads who were also told about potential jobs available in the trucking industry.
The day was truly a historical opportunity to launch an initiative that will introduce the next generation of girls to careers as drivers, mechanics, engineers, managers and company owners.
We are truly proud of initiating this opportunity to share the trucking industry and its importance to these girls. More importantly, we are supporting our mission to increase the percentage of women employed in the trucking industry by introducing these girls to career opportunities at a young age.
For more information about the Transportation Patch and how to present the curriculum to your local troops, call Women In Trucking Association at 888-464-9482. Trucks Are For Girls! (recap of the event with photos).