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Truck driver shortage: Local program works to get more behind the wheel

You see them all over the roads, hauling stuff from one state to another. And while you see them, there’s actually a shortage of truck drivers across the nation.

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Officials at Calhoun Community College tell WAAY 31 they’re well aware of the high demand for truck drivers in our area, and that’s why they’re working extra hard to bring more people into their truck-driving program.

“Locally, we’re having companies who are facing a shortage of qualified truck drivers to hit the roads so that they can move the goods and do what they need to do,” said Courtney Taylor with Calhoun Workforce Solutions.

Taylor says there’s no hiding the fact that truck drivers are needed, and she says that’s why the truck-driving program at Calhoun is doing everything they can to recruit more people.

“We are working to become a little bit more flexible, to offer classes at night and on the weekends to meet those needs because we understand the need to work a lot of times while you’re going through a short-term training program like this,” Taylor said.

She says interest in the program has increased, and enrollment for this school year is up.

Officials say that jump in enrollment could have something to do with older truck drivers planning to retire in the next five years.

“People coming into the program are set up and ready to go to back fill those positions as they retire from the industry,” Taylor said.

And for one new recruit to the program, job security is a main reason he chose to join.

“I just want to get out there, make some good money, make a living, and that’s all I really look forward to,” the student said.

But for him, it’s not all about the money.

“Visit different states, see different places, and see how different things are from where I currently live right now,” he added.

Taylor tells WAAY 31 they have several local and regional companies that recruit students from their program, so many new recruits are guaranteed a job.

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