Antigo trucking company encouraged by efforts to get more women into the industry
Tim Kordula has been in the trucking industry for nearly three decades.
Over those years, he’s seen a lot of changes and now as administrator for the Karl’s Transport CDL School in Antigo he wants be part of even more changes.
“We need everybody in the industry for the longest time, and I’ve been in this industry for 29 years, women have always taken a backseat in this industry. There’s no reason to. They make just as good of drivers as men do,” said Kordula.
Karl’s Transport is on its to tapping into the underutilized group.
Last year, it was named one of the top companies for women to work for in transportation by Women in Trucking.
But Kordula recognizes there are still a lot of barriers to get more women into the trucking industry.
“From my standpoint, it’s been how they’re treated, how they’re treated at truck stops, how they’re treated at shippers and receivers. The image that trucks drivers have had in the past which as a company, as an industry we’re trying to change, you know nice clothing, keeping clean,” said Kordula. Safety was the other main issue he pointed out.
Kordula is hopeful that will start to change with the passage of the “Promoting Women in Trucking Workforce Act”.
The legislation was passed as part of Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
It will establish an advisory board to look at the issues that keep women out of trucking and possible solutions.
Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) first introduced the Act in 2019. She visited Karl’s Transport on Wednesday to promote it.
“A lot of us have been putting our heads together problem solve and figure out how to get more people into this career which is family supporting and for those who like to not be in an office building and get out across Wisconsin or across the country, it’s a really appealing career,” said Baldwin.
While the results of the advisory board are still a ways off, Kordula and Karl’s Transport are doing what they can to make their CDL School and business a welcoming place for women.
“We want to let them know this environment, it’s lucrative, number one. We’re changing the way trucks are built, number two. And we’re definitely, I should change that to number one, the way we treat the women,” said Kordula.
Kordula would also like to see younger people get in the industry. He talked to Baldwin about some of the barriers that keep 18 to 21 years old out.