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Milwaukee-based trucking expert teaches course on starting and operating a box trucking business

Ed Hennings and Aaron Smith, formerly incarcerated trucking business owners, teach a course on owning and operating a box trucking business
Ed Hennings and Aaron Smith, formerly incarcerated trucking business owners, teach a course on owning and operating a box trucking business

After 20 years of incarceration, Milwaukee-based entrepreneur and motivational speaker, Ed Hennings, knew that he wanted to own his own business. After being released, he started his own barbershop but also quickly became interested in the box trucking industry. After a challenging process and having to learn many lessons along the way, he successfully began his own trucking business.

Hennings now desires to share the knowledge that he's learned with other people who are also interested in the trucking field. He teaches a course on how to create and operate a box trucking business alongside Aaron Smith — creator of Escaping the Odds Media, owner of trucking company, U-turn transport, and host of Urban Trucker podcast.

Smith became interested in the trucking field during his time of incarceration when he noticed that trucking and logistics were in high demand. His interest peaked when he realized that a commercial driver's license wasn't required to operate a box truck and that individuals with whom he was formerly incarcerated were enjoying success in the industry.

"I wanted to be able to hire the formerly incarcerated because again, I knew that was a an industry that a lot of men and women [can] jump into upon their release," says Smith.

But it doesn't mean the program is exclusively reserved for the formerly incarcerated. "Our demographic of our target market is anyone who has a desire to get into the industry," says Hennings. "We want to make sure that we provided that opportunity for the men and women that were formerly incarcerated. But, nevertheless, it's not solely just for that population."

The program is virtual and serves students in areas ranging from Milwaukee, Chicago and San Diego. The virtual format of the program allows flexibility while still providing the student with the knowledge they will need to navigate issues they encounter starting a box trucking business.

"We can't be there [in-person], but we show [the student] the necessary steps through zoom calls that we do every Saturday. Walking them through every step of the way because we've been there," says Hennings. The class prioritizes mentorship and establishing a resource that students can regularly utilize.

Hennings and Smith encourage anyone who is interested to pursue their dreams. "That's my thing, is really to get people to understand that you can do it and nothing is impossible," says Smith.


Joy is a WUWM host and producer for Lake Effect.
Rob is All Things Considered Host and Digital Producer.
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