School Member News
CLEVELAND -- A nationwide group called Truckers Against Trafficking is getting local support from Northeast Ohio.
The idea is to educate truck drivers, truck-stop workers and motorists how to spot victims of human trafficking.
TravelCenters of America has taken a very public stance against trafficking and that campaign extends to the truck stop in Lodi.
Debbie Shelton is the general manager at the Lodi Travel Center truck stop.
"I have a daughter and I would hope that, if she was in trouble, someone would help her too," says Shelton. The lounges for drivers have information on the red flags of human trafficking.
It's estimated that over 100,000 minors are prostituted in the U.S. every year, and they are trafficked along our highways and truckstops every day.
At Hamrick Trucking School in Medina, students are being made aware of the sex trade as well.
They are on the front line of stopping it and can save someone's life.
"If I see a former student of mine getting into a truck with a prostitute, I will come after you, after I call the police first," says Pat Welsh, Hamrick Trucking instructor.
The National Human Trafficking Resource Center is at 1-888-373-7888. Call if you see suspicious activity.
By KYLE ARNOLD, World Staff Writer on Jul 27, 2013, at 4:11 PM
Eva Gray isn’t what you might expect out of a long-haul trucker.
The 29-year-old Maryland native has a petite frame, red hair and a big smile. She spends her nights and weekends taking online classes and is just a year away from getting a master’s degree in psychology.
“I was just bored with what I was doing, and driving is something that always appealed to me. So I just went for it,” said Gray, who had just finished a trip hauling lumber from New Hampshire to Springfield, Mo.
“It’s the experience of a lifetime. You get to see so many things every day that you would never get to see.”
Her truck is loaded with the newest high-tech gadgets in the industry, like a GPS device to show her the shortest routes to destinations and electronic logs to show her how much time until her next required rest.
Gray is one of more than 900 drivers at Tulsa-based Melton Truck Lines Inc. The company would hire a hundred more if qualified drivers walked in the door, said Angie Buchanan, vice president of human resources and safety.
“We have 70 openings right now, but we would hire anyone that is qualified,” Buchanan said. “There is as much work out there as we can take.”
The entire trucking industry is facing a shortage of drivers as the economy rebounds, the energy industry demands more trucks and the baby boom generation, which makes up the largest pool of drivers, is aging out and getting off the roads.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the U.S. will need 330,000 more truck drivers by 2020. With the average trucker being 55 years old, the industry will face a shortage in the next decade from retirements.
By Laura Raines
If you’ve ever felt the pull of the open road, this is an excellent time to consider a truck-driving career. Trucking added the most jobs of any transportation sector in February 2013, increasing its employment by 5,600 positions, according to the U.S. Labor Department.
“There is no unemployment in truck driving. In fact, there’s a shortage of drivers,” said Ed Tanksley, general manager of Katlaw Driving Schools in Austell. “Trucking slowed down at the start of the recession, but when factories start producing more goods, those goods have to be moved to consumers. Trucking usually leads a recovery.”
The demand for commercial truck drivers is expected to grow by 21 percent through 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Tanksley sees that demand from the 30 companies that actively recruit his students.
“Most of our graduates have six to 10 job offers before they even finish their training,” he said. “Truck driving is one of the few careers that you can train for quickly and make $40,000 to $45,000 in the first year, with benefits.”
Metro Atlanta is a transportation hub and one of the nation’s top 10 areas for truck-driving jobs , according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
To get started, you’ll need to meet the requirements and pass the test to obtain a commercial driving license permit from the Georgia Department of Driver Services . To earn a CDL permit, drivers must pass standard written and driving tests at a state examination site.
You can’t apply for a CDL if you’ve had your driving license revoked, suspended, canceled or been involved in a chargeable accident during the two-year period immediately prior to applying. Applicants will be restricted to drive in Georgia only until they are 21.
“With a permit, you can enroll for training at a private school or one of Georgia’s technical colleges,” Tanksley said. “Most insurance companies and carriers won’t hire entry-level drivers unless they’ve taken a training course.”
You can find recommended schools on the GDDS website (www.dds.ga.gov).
Approved by the Commercial Vehicle Transportation Association, Katlaw Driving Schools has been training drivers for 14 years. The most popular program is the 160-hour, three-week program in Class “A” Tractor Trailer Training. It’s also offered in an eight-weekend format. Tuition is $3,195 ($2,895, if paying in cash), and financing options are available.
The program has been approved for VA, GI Bill and Workplace Investment Act funding.
“Our classes typically take six to 12 students. We have trained a lot of career changers, retirees, former military people and business owners who want to start a second career,” Tanksley said. “About 5 (percent) to 8 percent are women. There are a lot more women in trucking these days and they do very well because they are safety-conscious and well-organized.”
Truck-driving students begin in the classroom where they learn federal regulations, record-keeping technologies, safety measures and time-management strategies. On the road, they learn how to operate 10-speed transmission vehicles; how to conduct a 96-item pre-trip checklist of a vehicle; and how to back up and park different types of trucks and trailers. They also practice driving safely at night and in inclement weather.
“Not everyone is cut out for truck driving. You need to be a self-starter and able to work with no supervision,” Tanksley said. “You also need to be comfortable being away from home and family for stretches at a time, although many regional and over-the-road companies now guarantee you’ll be home on the weekends.”
Working conditions for truckers have improved over the years, Tanksley said.
“People perceive it as a lonely, hard and dirty job,” he said.
But today’s trucks are much more comfortable and equipped with televisions and computers. Truck stops have clean showers, better restaurants and other amenities.
“You just aren’t as isolated as you used to be on the road, and more retired couples are choosing to travel together,” Tanksley said.
The industry offers opportunities for pay raises and advancement, Tanksley said.
“Salaries climb faster than in other careers,” he said. “By the third year, truck drivers should be making well into the $50,000s, and some couple teams are pulling down six figures. Some drivers choose to become owner/operators, or start their own trucking companies.”
In large, multinational transit corporations, drivers may move into warehousing, safety inspection, instruction, recruiting, or management positions.
“There’s no shortage of jobs or opportunities in transportation,” Tanksley said. “We put 375 to 400 Georgia residents to work every year.”
“A dead end street is just a place to turn around…”, or so goes the lyric from a song called “Rock Bottom” recorded in 1994 by country artist Wynonna Judd.
Jim Taylor* had taken several wrong turns in his life and he was looking at rock bottom. He was homeless. He had battled addiction and a physical condition which severely impacted his ability to work in the construction industry. He had a criminal history which excluded him from many job opportunities. He had been out of work for several years, and he had little experience using a computer to create a resume and search for jobs online.
Jim was frustrated at every turn in his efforts to change his circumstances, but he was determined to turn his life around, find a better life and achieve his goal of independence.
Miracle Hill Ministries (Harbor of Hope) is a homeless shelter in South Carolina who helped Jim contact a career consultant at SC Works Cherokee. They referred him to the South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department which provides an individualized array of services to help people with disabilities find employment. He was evaluated for medical assistance with his physical limitations and assisted with physical therapy and knee supports.
The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) is a federal program administered through state agencies to help businesses meet their need for skilled workers and provide individuals with access to training that helps them prepare for work. Jim learned he was eligible for WIA orientation for intensive services. He completed his resume, continued to work on his computer skills, and was later enrolled in the Administrative Office Certificate program at a local college. WIA funds were utilized to assist Jim with continuing education pre-vocational services. He successfully completed this basic computer class and earned a certificate of completion in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Business Grammar and Communication.
As he learned new skills, Jim gained self-confidence and became more and more motivated. He began to research Labor Market Information to explore a career in truck driving, and he was WIA approved to attend the Truck Driver Institute (TDI) in Richburg, SC.
TDI was initially reluctant to enroll Jim because, in his case, they were unsure they could assist him with job placement. Jim’s career consultant, however, assured them that if Jim was allowed the opportunity to gain a credential, that he would be successful on his own.
Jim Taylor successfully completed his CDL training in May, 2012 and was hired by Carolina Cargo. He continues to work full-time driving a truck. In little more than a year, Jim went from being homeless with no income, no marketable skills, a criminal history and physical limitations to working full-time, making a steady paycheck, and earning not one, but two credentials. Through the services and assistance of SC Works Cherokee and the staff of Truck Driver Institute, Jim has gained the confidence to achieve his goals, and more importantly, he has found a renewed relationship with his family.
*Student’s name has been changed.
Truck Driver Institute Located at
3425 Lancaster Highway, Richburg, SC 29729.
Request Free Information Call: 1-800-848-7364
January 01, 2013 11:45 pm • By ART HOVEY / Lincoln Journal Star
When Marine veteran Rowdy Bolinger returned to civilian life, he had trouble finding a good job fit.
That’s when he reached out to the Greek god Proteus. Well, not exactly.
Rather than relying on a mythical being known for his ability to change his form, Bolinger turned to a Lincoln job training company that bears the Proteus name.
Together, Proteus Inc. and a man who served two tours in Iraq worked to get him through four weeks of instruction at JTL Truck Driver Training on Omaha’s western outskirts and earn him a commercial driver’s license.
Now he’s making daily trips back and forth between Iowa City, 270 miles away, and Werner Enterprises across Interstate 80 from the trucking school.
“You live a life and you feel like it has meaning and purpose,” the 36-year-old Bolinger said of his time in the military. “And then you come back home and everything is different.”
Proteus is a long-term, private sector presence in Iowa, but a much more recent addition in Nebraska and in Lincoln. Its federal origins go all the way back to the presidency of Lyndon Johnson and his War on Poverty in the 1960s.
Working with federal grant money offered through the Department of Labor and under the National Farm Workers Jobs Program, Proteus' Lincoln staff covered the $4,000 cost of Bolinger’s education as a trucker.
Susan Billups has been a regional director for Proteus at the Lincoln office at Ninth Street and Pioneers Boulevard since September 2011.
“You have to have worked an agricultural job for the majority of your money for a 12-month period sometime in the last two years,” Billups said in explaining how the farm connection works.
Income guidelines also apply -- less than $11,170 for a single person and $24,240 for a family of four.
“These folks can go from minimum wage jobs to making $35,000, $45,000, $50,000, depending on who they get on with and what they can negotiate for themselves,” she said.
At this point in his life, Bolinger wants to combine trucking with longer-term work toward a business administration degree.
“I was looking for a job that wasn’t so physically demanding that I couldn’t go to school at the same time,” he said.
Ultimately, he would like to get back to what he was doing between two stints in the Marines. That means defense contracting and “moving men, equipment and weapons to and from the Middle East,” he said.
There are about as many possibilities for switching job descriptions as there are jobs, Billups said.
“If someone wants to be an LPN and they work in hog confinement, we will help them do that,” she added.
Migrant farm workers constitute “a second tier” of potential Proteus clients.
“One of the tripping points is that you have to be the head of your own household. So we can’t take an 18-year-old whose mom and dad still claim him on their taxes and enroll him in this program.”
As Bolinger’s situation demonstrates, part of the service Proteus provides is to a population of veterans who may be having trouble with the conversion from military to civilian employment.
For much of the past decade, unemployment rates have trended higher among those coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan.
David Cook, an instructor at JTL, said many of the 150 to 175 students enrolled there each year have military backgrounds.
“We get a lot of veterans,” he said.
JTL and Proteus have worked together before, he added.
At the same time, he said, the trend in the trucking industry is toward Werner and other major truck carriers hiring new drivers who have had some kind of formal training.
“They don’t want to hire new drivers off the street,” he said.
Long-haul truckers in eastern Nebraska typically start at $38,000 to $42,000 a year, Cook said.
In Nebraska, Proteus is reaching out to veterans and nonveterans alike from Lincoln, as well as from Columbus, Grand Island, North Platte and Scottsbluff.
Part of Bolinger’s frustration in trying to navigate his own way to better employment was in using his G.I. Bill eligibility to pay for the cost of his trucker training.
“I was just having a hard time,” he said. “The G.I. Bill (representatives) didn’t want to pay for school.”
When he turned to Proteus, “it took about a one-half-hour meeting and Kim (of Proteus) was able to get everything she needed to make it happen.”
Bolinger’s experience in returning to civilian employment was that jobs that pay subsistence wages aren’t difficult to find.
“In order to find something satisfying,” he said, “it’s really hard.”
The Lonesome Road
American's Trucking Industry Faces Driver Shortages
by Rich Ehisen, Comstock's Magazine – 2012 October
The trucking industry is facing a significant driver shortage as baby boomers retire and younger people are unwilling to replace them. The shortfall eased a bit during the recession as fewer trucks took to the road, but with the economy recovering, industry leaders say the shortage is becoming problematic.
The American Trucking Association predicts the industry will be short approximately 110,000 drivers by 2014, while other estimates peg the figure up to three times higher. That deficit has been paying dividends for those who remain.
“Driver salaries are on the rise,” says Michael Shaw, a spokesman for the California Trucking Association. “Demand is outstripping supply.”
That is good for drivers but not so much for consumers: Most industry experts believe the increased driver costs will ultimately mean higher prices for the goods they deliver.
There are many reasons for the shortfall. Younger people aren't as interested in the field any more. In this era of health consciousness, the job is perceived as too hard on the body. And long-haul truckers can be required t obe gone from home for weeks at a time.
The financial payoff is also questionable. Many large companies prefer to hire truckers who own a rig, which can be an expensive proposition for a potential driver. And new regulation in California related to greenhouse gas emissions have made it even more difficult for truckers to afford equipment.
However, there are other signs that workers are enlisting in the field because job prospects are so poor elsewhere. David Decker, director of education for the Western Truck School in West Sacramento, says he has seen a slight increase in the number of students willing to fork over the $2,000 to $5,000 needed to pass his training program. He says it is too soon to know if the spike is temporary, but he remains optimistic that the industry will eventually be able to fill its needs. For all its challenges, he notes, trucking has something many industries can't offer these days: job security.
“It's harder than ever to make a living now,” Decker says. “But I'm seeing a lot more people coming here now who have already had careers in other fields. They're coming here because they just need a steady job.”
National Tractor Trailer School Recognized by National Accreditor as School of Excellence
Each year, the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), a national accrediting agency recognized by the United State Department of Education, recognizes it's Schools of Excellence for their commitment to the expectations and rigors of ACCSC accreditation, as well as the efforts made by these institutions in maintaining high-levels of achievement among their students. This year, at the 2012 Professional Development Conference hosted on September 10-12, 2012 in San Diego, California, ACCSC recognized National Tractor Trailer School located in Buffalo, New York as a 2012 School of Excellence.
In order to be eligible for the 21012 School of Excellence Award, an ACCSC-accredited institution must meet the conditions of renewing accreditation without any finding of non-compliance, satisfy all requirements necessary to be in good standing with the Commission, and demonstrate that the majority of the schools' student graduation rates exceed 84% for programs 1 to 3 months in length, and 69% for programs 4 to 6 months in length; and that the majority of reported graduate employment rates exceed 82%.
"ACCSC congratulates National Tractor Trailer School on their commitment to delivering quality educational programs to the students, graduates, and employers that deserve our best work" noted Christopher Lambert, ACCSC's Director of External Affairs.
Established in 1971, National Tractor Trailer School has over 41 years experience training men and women for commercial truck driver careers. Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges and with courses certified by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI), NTTS is approved by the NYS Division of Veterans Affairs for the training of veterans (GI Bill), and is an eligible Institution for financial aid programs including Stafford Loans (student loans), Parental Loans for undergraduate students (P.L.U.S.), and Pell Grants.
Diesel Driving Academy admissions officer Jan Musik said her company took part in the career fair to help provide the skills veterans need to enter the trucking industry. The academy, she said, has eight to 10 veterans now. “We’re open to everyone, but veterans should get first priority because they’re the ones fighting for our freedom,” Musik said. “A lot want to do this to get out there, see the country and get paid a good salary to do it.”
A dozen military veterans listened quietly to Mike Rollins in the lobby of Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.
“Don’t limit yourselves. Don’t just talk to one or two companies because of their name,” he advised before they headed into a job fair Thursday in an adjoining conference room. “You don’t want to work in the oil field? Remember, each of them is a corporation with human resources, administration, technical and mechanical needs. They’re all here for you.”
Some veterans wore military uniforms; others, suits. Some came alone, others brought their spouses and children. They were young and old, active-duty military and those transitioning into civilian life.
But they all needed and wanted the same thing — an opportunity to use in civilian employment the skills they earned through military service.
“Look at this kid here,” Rollins said. “He probably just came back from Afghanistan, where he was kicking in doors without knowing if certain death was behind it. It’s a shame he has to come back here and look for a job. To me, there’s no one more deserving.”
Rollins is national accounts director for RecruitMilitary, the national military-to-civilian transitional service that held the job fair. Veteran-owned, veteran-operated and veteran-advised, the organization hosts 64 hiring events in 36 cities annually.
Thursday was RecruitMilitary’s first venture in Shreveport-Bossier City, and was held in partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes program. More than 30 local, regional and national businesses and more than 300 veterans were registered to participate.
“Anybody putting veterans to work is doing a service to the country,” Rollins said. “But, to us, being veteran-owned means we’ve been in their shoes. We understand. We can connect with them. Our message is: If you’re going to hire one person this year, why not make it a veteran?”
The unemployment rate among veterans was 6.6 percent in August, down from 7.7 percent in August 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. By gender, the jobless rate in August was 9.1 percent for female veterans, was 9.1 percent in August; 6.3 percent for male veterans.
Tonya Veazey, who left the Army in 2006, spent Thursday searching for flexible, part-time employment. She arrived at the career fair with her husband, Tamiko Veazey, who is active in the Army.
“A lot of people don’t want to hire,” Tonya Veazey said. “They say they’ll hire you but not your spouse. They aren’t flexible with his schedule, which means they aren’t flexible with mine.”
Veazey and her husband are raising three children. She’s studying nursing at Bossier Parish Community College in Bossier City. And she’s on her own when her husband is deployed.
“Some people think military spouses don’t want to work, that they just want to stay home. That’s not it,” she said.
The military absorbs a bulk of time many young people use to educate themselves for civilian jobs or to develop a skill set that would put them to work. For many veterans, young and old, leaving the service is the first reason to think of a post-military career... Continue reading.
TUCSON- If you're looking for a job, and you don't mind being on the road then here's some good news. Here in Tucson and across the country truck companies are searching for drivers.
It's a job that can take you on the road for weeks at a time and it seems less people are willing to make the sacrifice these days.
"It's not easy, it's hard on the family guy," says Douglas Prall, who owns HDS Trucking and operates a trucking school in Tucson.
Over the past couple of years he has also opened schools in Yuma and Phoenix, in anticipation of what is now a nationwide truck driver shortage. "If we had 20 drivers, we could put them to work today," Prall says.
Prall says the shortage is based on a few factors. They include baby boomers now retiring, a new law that places tougher standards on driving records and it's not your conventional job.
It's bad news for CTI Trucking Inc., based in Marana.
"We've been looking in areas near Benson, Safford, Tucson, Phoenix, Flagstaff, we're hiring everywhere," Senior VP Tom Jones says.
Jones says CTI currently has about 300 drivers, but could use 50 more. "We have more requests for demands of loads for deliveries than we can accept," Jones says.
The shortage is forcing companies to get creative. CTI offers to pay for trucking school, if the driver stays with them for a period of time. It can cost anwhere from $4,000 to $8,000.
They're also developing their marketing strategy. "We're advertising everywhere, billboards, anything we can do," Jones says.
"We hold open houses every other Saturday, where potential drivers can talk to recruiters," Prall says.
They know they have a long road ahead of them, but hope their efforts will bring people back to the industry.
The average salary for a truck driver in the first year is $35,000, but Prall says the pay is increasing to attract more applicants.
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