Few if any industries out there do as much when it comes to hiring and supporting military veterans as trucking does, the top exec of a veteran-specific hiring TV show tells Fleet Owner. But there's more to it than that, and the military itself and the federal government are acknowledging what's going on across the trucking industry.

"We see a lot of different industries, and I'm trying to think of any other than trucking and transportation where there's this industry-wide effort," says Bill Deutch, executive producer of Hiring America. The weekly show — which has chosen to include a trucking/transportation segment in every episode in addition to other career opportunities it covers — airs on 195 stations nationally as well as the American Forces Network, which reaches Dept. of Defense communities globally.

"As we worked with more trucking companies, you could really see that it's an industry-wide initiative in that there's a great need for drivers as well as support personnel and others," he adds.

In trucking and transportation, "carriers obviously are still competitors, but there's such a community there and interest in supporting veterans," Deutch says. "These companies are delivering results in hiring, and there's a long history of veterans in trucking and transportation." He notes that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has recognized "multiple trucking companies" for their efforts and jobs in trucking as one of the fastest-growing opportunities for veterans in its Hiring Our Heroes program.

According to a study RAND Corp. released in October of the private, multi-industry 100,000 Jobs Mission that sought to hire that many veterans by 2020 — and already has exceeded that goal — 53% of servicemen and women who leave the military face a period of unemployment. It can be difficult for veterans to "bridge the gap" and translate their skill sets from military to civilian jobs, and some veterans report feeling misunderstood or underappreciated in civilian settings.

But in trucking and transportation, Deutch says, leaders and managers also often are veterans, and it creates more of a veteran-friendly culture. "You often see it in the corporate infrastructure," he notes. "There are recruiters and executives at these companies who are veterans, and they not only see the value in hiring veterans but create environments that are supportive of that.

"These trucking companies 'get' veterans, and they see hiring them as not only a good business decision, they see it as the right thing to do," he adds.