Delivering the TDL Workforce

Delivering the TDL Workforce

Increasing Access to Middle-Skill Jobs in Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics

Strengthening and expanding successful TDL training programs to align with employer needs and industry standards, sustain robust partnerships, and connect more women to the sector

Deborah Kobes
617.728.4446 x109

TDL is a critical sector to the U.S. economy, employing over 4.6 million workers. A dedicated TDL workforce is required to effectively track orders, ensure the safety of goods during transit, and manage the logistics of planning and executing shipments using different modes of transportation.

Through Delivering the TDL Workforce, ten regions across the country are scaling up their TDL training programs to provide low- to middle-skilled workers with occupational training leading to industry recognized credentials, offer them supportive services, and place them into good jobs.

Training leading to industry recognized credentials and supporting advancement along career pathways:

  • Automotive Repair and Maintenance
  • Commercial Truck Driving
  • Logistics and Warehouse Management

The initiative includes technical assistance to sites to recruit and serve 25% women in this predominantly male sector. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, women currently comprise less than 15% of the TDL workforce and thus don’t fully benefit from the potential family-supporting wages the industry can provide. 

Our nation relies on TDL to link manufacturers and trading partners to wholesalers, retailers, and consumers.   

The TDL workforce is critical to efficiently transporting goods as well as providing much needed integrated warehousing and supply chain management solutions. As customers demand instant gratification, supply chains are a growing challenge for retailers. The TDL industry is increasingly investing in innovative strategies that manifest in new technologies, advanced supply chain analytics systems, and communications technology. Yet, colleges and training providers often continue to serve workers with traditional programming that does not fully respond to employer needs.

The reliance of manufacturing and retail on TDL occupations, combined with the inability to outsource these jobs, drives the U.S. Department of Labor estimates that over this decade, employment in transportation and warehousing will grow by 20 percent, or 856,000 jobs. In some areas, projected employment rates are even higher, and there are significant numbers of available jobs now. These middle-skill TDL jobs can serve as a steppingstone into the middle class.  

To meet current and future TDL workforce needs, career and technical training institutions must streamline programming, align more closely with industry needs and standards, recruit women and other nontraditional applicants, and prepare lower-skilled adults for the demands of a growing industry. These steps will help colleges and training providers address the needs of the TDL industry while strengthening employment outcomes. Delivering the TDL Workforce benefits both jobseekers and incumbent workers through a focus on skilling up and placing lower-wage workers into higher paying jobs.

All programs funded through the initiative feature strong partnerships with employers, and offer a range of career and education services related to in-demand TDL occupations, including:

  • Basic Skills and Literacy Training
  • Occupational Skills Training
  • Job Readiness Training and Wraparound Services such as assistance obtaining child care or transportation
  • Job Placement

Delivering the TDL Workforce provides technical assistance to sites to adopt national best practices in training program design, participant recruitment and retention, curriculum delivery, employer engagement, local partnership development, and job placement strategies. In addition, local partners are connected through a learning community to share promising practices through virtual and in-person peer-learning events. 

Delivering the TDL Workforce is working in 10 regional labor markets with demonstrated growth in TDL occupations. Over two years, the initiative will:

  • Serve at least 3,000 participants, including at least 25% women
  • Graduate at least 2,250 participants with industry-recognized credentials or up to 6 college credits
  • Place at least 1,500 program graduates into jobs with an average wage of at least $14 per hour 
  • Retain at least 1,350 program graduates, or 75% of placements, at least 3 months
  • Earn an average increase in wages for incumbent workers after program completion of at least $1 per hour

Participating sites will receive access to online instructional modules to incorporate labor market information into their program design, as well as tools to add a gender lens to TDL training programs.

  • The Drive to Succeed

    Watch a video about how Delivering the TDL Workforce helped a mother in Mississippi enter and train in a new well-paying career.

    This work is generously supported by the Walmart Foundation. 



    Learn More