Trucking Executives Visit White House to Talk About Small Business Challenges

WASHINGTON — Representatives of the trucking industry met with President Donald Trump and his administration as part of an event marking the 65th anniversary of the Small Business Administration.

“You’re the dreamers and innovators who are powering us into the future. My administration will be there with you every single step of the way,” Trump said in remarks opening the event, which also featured a forum hosted by SBA Administrator Linda McMahon and Ivanka Trump.

American Trucking Associations Vice Chairman Sherri Garner Brumbaugh, president and CEO of Garner Transportation Group, Findlay, Ohio, Tana Greene, CEO of Blue Bloodhound, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Doug Sibila, CEO of People’s Services Inc., represented the industry at the forum.

President Donald Trump addresses small business owners before a forum celebrating the 65th anniversary of the Small Business Administration

During the forum, Brumbaugh, noting that Garner Transportation is a 50-year-old, second-generation, woman-owned small business that has grown from one truck to 100 trucks and roughly 150 employees, asked what the administration was planning to do to help the industry address “some of our challenges [in] hiring a qualified workforce of drivers and technicians.”

“The administration has really been informed by the private sector … and they tell us that one of their single biggest challenges is the skills gap that exists and they have available jobs that they’re unable to fill because people don’t have adequate training so time and time again we hear this,” Ivanka Trump said, adding that the President recently signed an executive order to boost apprenticeship opportunities to help close the skills gap.

In addition, Ivanka said “many employers are working with their community colleges and helping them develop curriculums that train their students and they employ them on the other side.”

“That’s really been working in the private sector and we’re looking to fuel and scale at a national level,” she said.

Blue Bloodhound CEO Tana Greene asks SBA Administrator Linda McMahon how the Trump administration plans to ease regulations on small businesses.

Greene asked Administrator McMahon how the administration was planning to address the burden of regulations on small businesses.

“I think you heard the president, when he started off, that he has rolled back so many regulations to make it possible to move forward,” McMahon said. “The regulatory environment is one that is clearly crippling and strangling a lot of small businesses as well as large businesses.”

President Trump said the country is “on the verge of a golden age for small business,” in part because “we’re ending job-killing regulations … we’re eliminating the tremendous, the massive restrictions on American energy … and pursuing bold tax cuts so that our companies can thrive, compete and grow.”

Ivanka told the forum later that the administration is “looking to unleash you, so you can bring your full potential, so you can create more jobs.”

Following the forum, both Brumbaugh and Greene said the chance to address the White House was important for the small business community and the trucking industry specifically, and credited the work of ATA in creating that opportunity.

ATA’s social outreach during the White House’s small business forum reached 60,000 people (including Ivanka Trump).

“If we didn’t have ATA we wouldn’t have a voice. Ultimately, everything that happens in legislation, everything that happens at the FMCSA, at the DOT, if we didn’t have the ATA’s voice for us we would not survive as an industry,” Greene said. “They’re the most critical organization that exists for transportation.”

“I’m so thankful for the American Trucking Associations, which represents the trucking industry here at White House and in the halls of Congress and really be our voice of all the issues that we have,” Brumbaugh said. “ATA works every day to make sure that our voice is heard so that we can concentrate on running our trucking businesses but make sure that we aren’t overburdened by government.”

“Having members like Sherri and Tana come to Washington and tell our industry’s story to leaders — including the President — is so critically important to our advocacy work,” ATA President and CEO Chris Spear said. “They both did an outstanding job talking about the issues facing small businesses and the trucking industry and we’re thankful for their efforts.”

ATA Vice Chairman Sherri Garner Brumbaugh, ATA Executive Vice President Bill Sullivan and Blue Bloodhound CEO Tana Greene pose outside the White House on August 2.