By Camm Ashford
Officials at Network Transport unveiled a plan to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion among its workforce during a special grand opening celebration Tuesday for the company’s new headquarters.
“We are an inclusive company,” Network Transport President David Ferguson told a group of about 15 community leaders, including staff of the Chattanooga News Chronicle, during a 10:30 a.m. interactive presentation. “Our desire is to have our workforce be a reflection of the community we live in.”
Network Transport’s diversity challenge is a top priority, said Ferguson, a 25-year veteran in the trucking industry. Some of the recommendations the company is looking at include internships for local high school students, special recruitment events where company information is presented in an easy-to-understand and concise manner, and developing relationships within the African American community, among others.
“We believe the African American community has a wealth of talented people who don’t know about the opportunities in the logistics industry,” Ferguson said. “We want to change that.”
Network Transport Chairman Marc Kramer and Chief Commercial Officer Bob Poulos also spoke during the presentation.
One of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies, Network Transport currently employs 82 people, but Ferguson projects that the logistics startup will be creating 100 new Chattanooga-based jobs within its “Freight Alley” operation over the next 12 months.
“We look forward to working with the principal owners of Network Transport and support the vision of its leaders and of their interest in inclusion and equity,” said Lurone “Coach” Jennings Sr., Mary Walker Foundation executive director and Chronicle Media Group vice president of Strategic Growth.
Following a sit-down lunch, Jennings and other Chronicle executives toured the freight brokerage company’s new headquarters, which spans 14,000 square feet of Class A space within the CBL Center at 2034 Hamilton Place Blvd. Prior to the move, Network Transport had run its Chattanooga operation within 4,400 square feet of office space downtown, in the Loveman’s building on Cherry Street.
“Looking at where we are today and where we know we are going in the future, this move came at the right time and it’s brought us to the right place,” said Ferguson, who previously served as chief operating officer at Lipsey Logistics and president at Riverside Transport in Chattanooga.
Founded in 2016 by trucking industry veterans Ferguson and Ben Gordon, Network Transport has grown into a cutting-edge transportation and logistics provider, producing more than $121 million in revenue in 2021.
Network Transport, which became part of the Soar Transportation Group in July of 2020, is headquartered in Chattanooga with satellite offices in Dallas and Salt Lake City.
More than 150 people attended the company’s grand opening on Tuesday.