ATA announced new program to engage young executives
The American Trucking Associations (ATA) has announced a new program to engage and shape young trucking executives to be the industry’s next great generation of leaders.
Dubbed LEAD ATA, the program will provide exclusive educational opportunities to candidates, which are designed to highlight how the regulatory and legislative process affects the trucking industry and the role ATA plays in shaping both.
"In the 80 years since ATA was founded, we have always relied on industry leaders to be our spokesmen and our examples of what trucking means to the country," said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. "LEAD ATA will help us nurture and cultivate our next generation of leaders and ensure that the legacy those giants have left us is entrusted to sure, steady hands."
The program, which is sponsored by PeopleNet, will also demonstrate the many tools available to industry executives through ATA. Each year, a new class will be accepted into LEAD ATA to cultivate the federation's future ATA leaders.
"This industry and ATA have given me many opportunities to demonstrate leadership," said Kevin Burch, ATA vice chairman and president of Jet Express, Dayton, Ohio. "Participants in LEAD ATA will be given important leadership tools that they can use to guide this association and industry into a promising and prosperous future."
"PeopleNet is honored to be a part of LEAD ATA. Building strong leaders for the future will ensure that our industry remains healthy, vibrant and forward-thinking," said PeopleNet President Brian McLaughlin of the company's three-year commitment to LEAD ATA. "This program is a unique opportunity for individuals to advance their skills and networks with an eye on taking transportation to the next level. We look forward to collaborating with ATA on the program moving forward."
About the ATA
American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation's freight.
Will Public Procurement Budgets Increase in 2021?
Procurement is more than just a private enterprise. COVID-19 reminded us that sourcing materials is an essential part of the government’s role. Throughout 2022, tiny departments sourced massive amounts of personal protective equipment (PPE), medical supplies, and emergency vaccines and testing kits. Even non-procurement professionals were pulled into the fray, as frantic timelines demanded nothing less.
According to Celeste Frye, co-founder and CEO of Public Works Partners, the crisis brought procurement to the attention of skilled employees who had never considered it. As non-procurement personnel stepped up to help their coworkers, many found that they’d stumbled upon a critical and rewarding job. “Existing public employees have seen the essential nature of the work”, Frye said. “[They’ve] gained some critical skills and possibly [grown] interested in pursuing procurement as a longer-term career”.
Small, Local Suppliers Take Charge
Frye, whose firm helps organisations engage stakeholders and develop long-term procurement strategies, thinks it well worth the effort to open one’s mind to new opportunities. Cooperative contracts, for instance, can help public departments and municipalities save money, time, and effort. By joining together with other towns or cities in the region, public procurement teams aggregate their purchasing power and can drive better deals.
These cooperative contracts have the added benefit of advancing equity. Smaller suppliers that struggle to compete with established firms for government contracts can act as subcontractors, helping big suppliers fulfil bits of the project. Once they get their foot in the door, small, local, and disadvantaged suppliers can then leverage that government relationship to take on additional projects.
Especially as governments start to pay attention to procurement resilience, public procurement departments must expand their requests for proposals (RFPs) to take into account innovative solutions and diverse suppliers. According to Frye, Public Works Partners—a certified female-owned firm—has benefitted from local and state requirements that specify diversity.
Post-Pandemic Funding Swells Procurement Budgets
And the pandemic won’t be the end of it. City governments need to build sustainable energy infrastructure such as solar panels, charging stations, and recycling plants, ensure that masks and medicines are never in short supply, and source new technologies to keep up with cloud and cybersecurity concerns.
Public procurement budgets will likely increase to match demand. As Peter Ware, Partner and Head of Government at Browne Jacobson, explained, “in a non-pandemic world, the [U.K.] government spends on average around £290 billion on outsourced services, goods, and works...anywhere between 10% and 14% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Post-pandemic, city procurement will only increase as national governments provide local divisions with emergency funding.
And in truth, government employees might jump at the opportunity. Frye noted that public procurement could give immediate feedback on new programmes: “[Procurement] is where new laws and policies ‘hit the road’ and are implemented”, she said. “Professionals in these fields get the satisfaction of creating real change and seeing quantifiable outcomes of their work”.