Local 707 Member Charlton Paul Selected for ATA “America’s Road Team”
Charlton Paul has been driving with UPS Freight for 21 years. During that time, he’s maintained an accident-free driving record and has received accolades from the company for his safe driving. Earlier this year, the industry took notice of Paul’s clean record and professional driving skills, too.
“I was very excited when they told me that I was selected,” said Paul, who has joined the American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) “America’s Road Team” program for 2017-2018 to help educate the public about the trucking industry. Paul is a trustee on the Teamsters Local 707 Executive Board in Hempstead, N.Y. and has been a shop steward for the past eight years.
The program started in 1986, selecting captains from a pool of applicants who must demonstrate their strong safety records and social skills to represent the industry in public forums.
“I was told not to be disappointed if I didn’t make it the first time after going through the application process, so I was prepared for a letdown. It was an honor, one of my proudest moments, when I learned that I was selected to be part of the team,” Paul said.
Paul was a finalist out of a group of 33 drivers from various companies. The group ultimately selected for the ATA program includes 20 drivers.
As part of the America’s Road Team, captains participate in safety demonstrations at schools and civic functions around the country. They also provide ride-alongs for lawmakers and reporters to give the public a better understanding of the trucking industry.
“The first event I did was at Mount Vernon High School in Alexandria, Virginia where we talked to kids who are about to get their driving permits about how to share the road with trucks and other vehicles. We’re teaching kids about blind spots, not following too close, the dangers of distracted driving and texting. It’s a really good educational tool,” Paul said.
He credits his background as a Teamster and his years as a UPS safety trainer for the skills that got him into the program.
“Being on America’s Road Team and being a Teamster, we have the same goals. We all want to get home safe to our families. As an active Teamster, I have a sense of responsibility and leadership when it comes to showcasing the industry. I’m setting an example, introducing the trucking career to young kids, and putting a positive light on what Teamsters do in the industry,” he said.
“We are honored that one of our brothers is representing our local in this industry,” said Kevin McCaffrey, President of Local 707. “Charlton is an exemplary member and leader in our union and we congratulate him on this great achievement.”