Area colleges issue calls for trucks, trailers
By Elaine Marsilio
CORPUS CHRISTI — If you want to get a commercial driver's license through Del Mar College, you are going to have to wait — until mid-October, at least.
"The demand in the industry is so huge right now," said John M. Rojas, director of Transportation Training Services at the college's West Campus.
Some trucking associations nationwide estimate the driver deficit will reach 300,000 full-time positions in a year.
In the Coastal Bend, the Eagle Ford Shale exploration has put increased demand on local truck driving schools at community colleges.
At Del Mar, Rojas' program is turning potential students away or putting them on waiting lists because he doesn't have enough trailer trucks to meet the demand. His courses are booked through Oct. 17.
Some potential students end up going to over-the-road, or cross-country driving, companies with schools, Rojas said.
But there could be some relief as Del Mar College officials have budgeted $54,000 this year for the purchase of a used trailer truck for the college's program. The college also is looking for local nonprofit agencies to donate trucks to the program.
At Coastal Bend College, officials expanded the truck driving program to include the Beeville, Kingsville and Pleasanton locations because of local demand, college spokeswoman Adrian Jackson said.
The college had a lone Alice site last year that trained more than 100 drivers... Continue Reading...