The Women In Trucking Association (WIT) has announced Maria Rodriguez as its August 2022 Member of the Month. Maria is a professional driver for NFI Industries.
As a longtime restaurant worker laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Maria was seeking stable employment when her boyfriend, who was also pursuing a career in transportation, convinced her to try trucking school. Being a mother of a 4-year-old son, she needed a job to provide for her family while being close to home. She attended the New England Tractor Trailer Training School (NETTTS) and knew it was the right career path. During her time at NETTTS, NFI’s core family values and local routes stood out to her, and she was offered a driver trainee opportunity.
With a consistent schedule, she appreciates being able to be home before her son finishes school. “I think I’m unique because I’m a mother and I am still able to go to work as a truck driver. It’s very rewarding to have a stable income and be able to come home to my son,” she said.
Additionally, Maria is a trainee in the Biden administration’s Trucking Action Plan’s extended 90-Day Trucking Apprenticeship Challenge, which is focused on attracting and retaining talent within the transportation industry. Earlier this year, she was chosen to participate in a special White House event for the program, allowing her to make a speech about her journey to truck driving and then introduce the President of the United States, Joe Biden. The attendees of this event included freight executives, WIT President and CEO Ellen Voie, truck drivers, and senior officials.
As a first-generation immigrant from Venezuela, Maria is proud to be an advocate and uses her voice to encourage other minorities, including other females and Latinas, to pursue a career in the transportation industry.
“Women are capable of getting into trucking, they just need to take the first step and enroll,” Maria says. “There are plenty of opportunities where you can go over the road or if you’re a mother like myself, there are local routes where you are home daily.”