In a pioneering bid to lure and keep more drivers behind the wheel of its trucks, U.S. Xpress Enterprises is offering scholarships at an online college to its drivers and their families in a new program billed as "Full Ride."

The Chattanooga-based trucking company, which employs more than 7,000 truck drivers across the country, said the new benefit will give its drivers the opportunity to earn an associate's, bachelor's or master's degree in the field of their choice at no cost through online courses offered by Ashford University.

In a first for the trucking industry — and one of the first for any major U.S. business — U.S. Xpress also will pay for the online degrees for children (aged 17 to 26 years old) of U.S. Xpress truck drivers.

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