Wanted: 400,000 Truck Drivers

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Reported by: Marci Manley, KARK 4 News
Thursday, November 03 2011
Source: arkansasmatters.com/news-fulltext?nxd_id=478407

"I'm feeling pretty confident when I graduate I'll be ready to hit the road," he said standing in front of a big rig.

When the economy tanked, it cost Scott Harper his way of life.

"The company I worked for, a tire business, it shut down," he said. "It basically took a toll on us."

Now, he's on the way to getting a steady paycheck in an industry with high demand for those willing and ready to work.

"I've been hired by seven different companies, so I can just take my pick on who I want to go with," Harper said. "When you enroll in the Diesel Driving Academy they do a pre-hire application. Based on that, I already have a job when I leave here."

Joel Easley is a senior instructor at the Academy, and he said his students are in demand.

"There is a shortage of drivers. Drivers are needed.," he said.

"That's one of the major reasons I am this way, cause I knew there was a demand for drivers," Harper said.

Take a look at these numbers. Nationwide, approximately 400,000 truck driving positions are currently open.

In the Natural State, anywhere from 2,500 to 10,000 drivers need to be hired.

And your starting salary will be at least $35,000 a year.

"It's a good stable job that you can put food on your family's table and put a roof over your head," Easley said. "Even when the economy is in a crunch, trucks are still running. You'll see gasoline tanker trucks on the roads because this country is going to drive, and you're going to see refrigerated trucks because this country is going to eat. There's job security in that."

In a strapped economy, with thousands looking for a place on the payroll, a steady paycheck offers almost as much freedom as the open road.

Getting the certification can take several months, but there are programs from both employers and the state where you don't owe a dime in the end... Continue reading...

Source: arkansasmatters.com/news-fulltext?nxd_id=478407