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Transforming Our Communities: How Werner Gives Back

Feb 21, 2024 | ESG

Research shows investing both time and financial resources in your corporate social responsibility (CSR) program is good for business and morale. It gives back to your local community, helps retain talent and customers, and is attractive to investors. It’s becoming increasingly important for employees, especially the Gen Z demographic, to work for companies that prioritize philanthropic efforts and be an active part of positive change.

At Werner, community is one of our core pillars. With that in mind, we make sure all our associates and professional drivers have opportunities to make an impact– and are proud while doing so.

“The work we’re doing in the communities where Werner’s involved is exciting, and it’s only the beginning,” says our Chairman and CEO Derek Leathers. “At Werner, it’s about making the communities we work in better than we found them and that’s exciting.”

We offer several programs and initiatives that allow everyone in our organization to contribute and support their local communities.

The Blue Brigade

Werner’s Blue Brigade started as a small community initiative but has grown to be a unique and integral component of our culture. Blue Brigade is a network of more than 500 member volunteers who contribute to a variety of charitable causes in their communities. With more than 20 chapters, our volunteers have logged more than 3,300 volunteer hours in the past year.

Members of the Blue Brigade give their time to causes such as The Red Cross, Habitat For Humanity, park cleanups, 5Ks and much more. Blue Brigade also partners with other Associate Resource Groups within Werner for causes like ADAPT, the Women’s Leadership Alliance and other efforts.

Volunteer Time Off Program

We understand schedules don’t always allow for easy opportunities to volunteer. That’s why we implemented the Volunteer Time Off (VTO) Program in 2022. Through the VTO Program, Werner associates can use a “VTO Day” to volunteer with a local organization. This allows them to take the time needed to focus on volunteering without weighing it against the “cost” of using a valuable vacation day.

Since we rolled out this program, we see more and more associates taking advantage. We recorded 89 VTO days after the launch of the program and that number continues to increase. We can’t wait to see how our associates use VTO in 2024 and beyond!

Founders Club Membership

We are proud that Werner is a Founders Club Member of the Trucking Cares Foundation. Created by the American Trucking Associations, this program focuses on causes like humanitarian aid, disaster relief, human trafficking and more. It also provides support for military and veterans, as well as law enforcement.

The Founders Club Membership designates donors who contribute $100,000 to the organization over a 10-year period. We are proud that we can support the Founders Club in such an impactful way.

Our Annual Transportation Forum

Every year, we host the Transportation Forum. This event brings together representatives from truck driving schools, our intermodal partners, Mexican alliance carriers and other strategic partners and valued customers. This event celebrates our dedication to charitable causes through corporate sponsorships.

In 2023, we raised more than $450,000 in donations, which surpassed our 2022 donations by $70,000. These donations were dispersed to more than 30 diverse nonprofits. We are grateful to all our partners and customers for helping us raise such a significant amount for these organizations.

Other Community Initiatives

Our commitment to our communities goes beyond the examples we’ve given above, including:

  • Our dedication to helping eradicate human trafficking. Each year, we participate in Wear Blue Day to raise awareness, along with mandatory Human Trafficking Awareness training for all our professional drivers and associates. Between drivers and associates, we’ve completed more than 15,000 hours of training. We aim to roll out a tiered recognition program for customers and vendor partners by 2025.
  • Brandon W., Operations Supervisor at Baylor Trucking, continued his efforts to support the Make-a-Wish Foundation. For the past two years, he has organized a convoy in Southern Indiana to raise money. In 2023, he raised more than $53,000 with the help of 50 fellow drivers.

As we move forward, we hope to continue making deeper impacts across all the communities we serve. To learn more about our CSR and ESG initiatives, you can read our full CSR report.

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