BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - This week is national truck driver appreciation week and to honor their drivers Walmart released a special commercial featuring two locals.
The Now Bakersfield's spoke to one of them who was featured in the commercial about her journey to the top of the totem pole. The Walmart commercial is already running and will continue to run hundreds of times in markets all across the U.S. and driver Marie Williams said she was happy to be apart of the illustration depicting the profession, as well as the job she always dreamed of having.
Williams travels many miles in her truck, but going the distance comes at cost, "There we're times where I had to go out of state, I was driving across country, been through a lot of bad weather and you know hurricanes and tornadoes and there's been all kinds of stuff out there,” Walmart Truck Driver Marie Williams said.
On average all Walmart truck drivers combined travel over 700 million miles each year, delivering cases of merchandise to Walmart and Sam's Club locations across the nation according to Walmart officials. Williams said after starting off as a Walmart store employee she wanted to be a driver and five years later she said she is finally in the job she aspired to do her whole life, after growing up in Los Angeles and later moving to Porterville. "I Feel like every time I am up and down the 99 delivering to stores I'm helping my people out you know everyone out here in California," Williams said.
Williams said working for the Porterville Walmart pick up and drop off branch feels like something more than a nine to five job, Williams said the family oriented corporation helps make her miles worth the trek each year, "It's a company where they actually take care of their drivers, we get recognized for the things we do, we also get recognized for driver appreciation week," Williams said.
Supervisors said hard workers like Williams don't get overlooked especially during truck driver appreciation week, “She is very, very, very positive and up beat and it's a tough job," General Transportation Manager Porterville Walmart Office Lou Lacroix said. Lacroix said that's why they chose Williams to be one of the many Walmart faces featured in the new 2018, “Thank You to Walmart Drivers,” commercial airing hundreds of times across the nation right now.
A special thank you that Williams said is worth the sacrifice she makes everyday to do the job, "I spent a lot of time away from my family." A job that Williams said pays well but requires her time too, “I can drive for 11 hour days."
The commercial is meant to highlight the work drivers like Williams do each year, to encourage new driver to join the fleet of over 7,000 drivers who make an average of $86,000 annually and Williams said it's not the only perk of her job. "I get time off, great medical benefits."
A job she is honored to do and grateful to have, "I was honored to be able to do it because I feel like I am representing all of our drivers out here you know what we do everyday," Williams said.
According to Williams she enjoys the job for traveling purposes and because it enables her to meet new people.
If you would like a closer look at the new commercial click on this link.