By Danny Restivo
A Trumbull County business is offering new opportunities for returning service members.
P.I.&I. Motor Express has joined with the U.S. Army in creating a trucking program that will give preferential hiring to military veterans.
Army Lt. Col. David P. Barlet, U.S. commander of U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion in Cleveland, and Joe Kerola, president and CEO of P.I.&I. Motor Express, signed an agreement Thursday that finalized their partnership.
“We’re looking forward to getting the quality of individual the Army offers,” said Kerola.
The military-civilian business agreement is part of U.S. Army’s Partnership for Youth Success program. The nationwide effort allows veterans to obtain civilian certifications and requirements that relate to their military occupation. P.I.&I. Motor Express, a trucking company that specializes in steel transportation, is now among 458 employers to partner with the U.S. Army.
“It’s always great to partner with someone who shares our values,” said Barlet.
He said the company’s structured and productive environment will prove conducive to success for veterans or reservists looking for employment. Having an employee already familiar with job requirements is a valuable asset for employers, said Barlet.
Kerola said P.I.&I. Motor Express has 100 employees who have served in the military. He hopes the company can hire an additional 500 if business and commerce continue to grow throughout the area.
Kerola said the company transports metal products throughout the East Coast and into Texas and Oklahoma.
Along with finalizing a veteran’s employment partnership with the Army, Kerola was also honored by the Department of Defense for his continued employment of America’s National Guard and Reserve force.
“It’s nice paying back the people who have sacrificed so much for us,” Kerola said.