Arkansas Trucking Association

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ATA announces technician scholarship recipients

The Arkansas Trucking Association is pleased to announce the 2019 recipient of the Carl Tapp Memorial Scholarship Fund. High school senior Ryan McKnight of West Fork High School will receive $7,500 to pursue training for a career in medium/heavy duty truck technology.

“Arkansas relies on the trucking industry as a major employer in the state. One in twelve working Arkansans have a career in our industry. It is vital to the state’s economy that we capture the right talent and make the highly skilled training accessible to trucking’s future technicians,” says Shannon Newton, president of the Arkansas Trucking Association. “This year’s scholarship recipient will someday be caring for the machines we share the road with every day, and we wish him well in their education and careers because their success is our safety.”

While at West Fork High School, Ryan McKnight has been a member of the Future Farmers of America and Future Business Leaders of America. He also played football and baseball and was a student officer for SkillsUSA, an organization that improves the quality of future skilled workforce through the development of framework skills that include personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics. McKnight also won the 2019 Northwest Arkansas Regional Career and Technical Leadership Award. This fall he plans to attend Northwest Technical Institute in Springdale, Ark.

“This year’s crop of applicants was outstanding.  We had students from across the state with excellent credentials,” says Kenneth Calhoun, founding member of the scholarship committee.  “Ultimately the committee had to take on the challenging task of selecting just two winners. Ryan rose to the top, and when the process was complete, the choice was clear.  We are excited at the prospect of having him join our industry.  It will be exciting to track just how far they go.”

The Arkansas Trucking Association’s Maintenance & Technology Council established the Carl Tapp Memorial Scholarship Fund to celebrate Carl Tapp, the council’s first chairman, and his career-long commitment to nurturing new talent in the industry.  The Fund is intended to enable and encourage growth in the state’s diesel technician workforce and to help assure that the safest, most knowledgeable and skilled technicians are working on the trucks and trailers on our nation’s roads. Candidates were evaluated based upon their interest and performance in STEM courses, teacher and mentor recommendations and personal interviews with the scholarship committee of industry experts.

This scholarship has been made possible by the vision and investment in the future of trucking in Arkansas by the following companies and individuals: ArcBest Companies, Bruce Purkey, DAVCO Technology, Kenneth Calhoun, Maverick Transportation, McKee Foods Transportation, Pressure Systems International, Summit Truck Group, TechForce Foundation, The Tapp Family, Truck Centers of Arkansas, Truck-Lite Co., and Walt Luethy.  Contact Sarah Sheets ( for more information about the Scholarship Fund.

Contact Us

Arkansas Trucking Association
PO Box 3476 (72203)
1401 West Capitol Ave.
Little Rock, AR 72201

(501) 372-3462 | Phone
(501) 376-1810 | Fax

Our Mission

  • PROTECT the collective interests of trucking companies in the political and regulatory arenas.
  • PROMOTE the dynamics of trucking so that people have a better understanding of the link between America's primary freight delivery system and the standard of living they enjoy.
  • SERVE our members to help them to grow their business and their profits
You are here: Home News In Brief ATA announces technician scholarship recipients