Sullivan, Peters, and Cortez Masto Reintroduce Bipartisan Legislation to Strengthen Transportation Industry Workforce

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) announced today they have reintroduced bipartisan legislation to expand career opportunities throughout the transportation industry. The Promoting Service in Transportation Act would direct the U.S. Department of Transportation (DoT) to deploy public awareness campaigns highlighting job opportunities in the transportation sector to help fill existing and future workforce shortages. Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by Representatives Rick Larsen (D-Wash. 02), Don Young (R-Alaska) and Angie Craig (D-Minn. 02). 

“More than eighty percent of Alaska’s communities are not on the road system, leaving residents largely dependent on air travel to reach the rest of the state and the outside world,” said Senator Sullivan. “But without the pilots, mechanics, engineers and professionals who operate and maintain our aircraft and transportation infrastructure, that connection will be lost. These jobs are so important to maintaining access to all corners of our state, and they also happen to be great opportunities for Alaskans to build a career and support a family at a time when many are out of work and struggling financially. I’m glad to reintroduce this legislation with Senators Peters and Cortez Masto to help fill the gaps in service and ensure we maintain a robust and capable workforce that can transport Alaskans and our goods.”

“Investing in good-paying, 21st century transportation jobs is critical not only to growing our economy, but also ensuring that Michigan remains a national hub for transportation, trade and logistics,” said Senator Peters, a member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. “This bipartisan bill will promote awareness of jobs in the transportation sector by recruiting pilots, drivers, technicians and service professionals and help build a diverse workforce with the skills needed to succeed in today’s economy.” 

“As Nevada recovers from the coronavirus pandemic, more residents and tourists alike will be relying on public transportation.” said Senator Cortez Masto. “As a part of my Innovation State Initiative, I’m helping the Silver State develop state-of-the-art transportation services, and we must make sure that the growing transportation workforce is as diverse as the people it moves. That means increasing awareness about available jobs and breaking down barriers for people of color to enter the workforce.”

The Promoting Service in Transportation Act would authorize the development of public awareness campaigns that highlight the importance of and address the need for professional truck drivers, mechanics, railroad workers, air traffic controllers, pilots, and other transportation professionals. Additionally, these campaigns would aim to reach a broader, more diverse transportation workforce that will be able to fill critical positions, such as sixty to one hundred thousand annual truck driver openings, throughout the industry on a long-term basis.  

The bill is supported by the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA), Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS), Transport Workers Union (TWU), Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA), the Aviation Technician Education Council (ATEC), National Air Transportation Association (NATA), Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), Truckload Carriers Association (TCA), Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), American Trucking Association (ATA), National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAM) and the Helicopter Association International (HAI). In addition it is supported by the Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA), Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA), American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), Cargo Airline Association (CAA), Chamber of Shipping of America (CSA), General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), National Air Transportation Association (NATA), NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots (NJASAP), Regional Airline Association (RAA), The TransForce Group, Women in Aviation International (WAI), and the Women In Trucking Association (WIT). 

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