The American Moving & Storage Association has been awarded a $35,000 grant from the National Network of Business and Industry Associations to create an online clearinghouse to help members recruit and retain new and existing van drivers, and to promote the careers in the moving industry to prospective workers.

The website, tentatively called AMSA’s Virtual Van Operator Recruitment and Service Center, will offer employers information on recruiting and retaining van operators, and will provide drivers with information about careers and employment opportunities in the professional moving and storage industry.

The project is aimed at alleviating an ongoing industry shortage of qualified drivers; it is being coordinated by AMSA’s Driver Recruitment and Retention Committee and will be launched by Sept. 30, 2014.

For individuals interested in the driving profession, the website will include success stories about those who have enjoyed long and rewarding careers in the industry, and stories about industry leaders who have risen through the ranks from driving to executive positions. The center will also provide a sample career ladder and a list of skills critical to success.

For existing van operators, resources to help them advance in their careers will include information on equipment loans, financial management strategies and regulatory compliance updates.

For employers, many of whom are small businesses with limited resources, the center will provide industry best practices for hiring and retaining drivers, sample marketing materials to support such efforts, and their job postings.

AMSA will employ a range of tactics to generate interest and drive traffic to the website, including search engine optimization, social media, promotional materials at job fairs, training schools and veterans’ job forums, and through print, audio and video public service announcements.

AMSA was one of only eight associations to be awarded a grant by the NNBIA, which leverages the work of organizations that share a common challenge: finding skilled talent to fill jobs. The organization is funded through a collaborative partnership of ACT Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Joyce Foundation and Lumina Foundation.