Students take advantage of nationwide truck driver shortage
A nationwide truck driver shortage could impact how much you pay for shipping when shopping online.
We see them on the roads all the time, but the American Trucking Association said the United States needs 50,000 more truck drivers to help with shipping demands.
It's a problem some local students are using to their advantage.
Students at Chattanooga State Community College are working towards their commercial driver’s license.
The course requires 220 hours of classroom and driving experience in a field that's desperate for workers.
"If the shortage continues, I mean, it's just like anything else: supply and demand,” Duane Pendergraph, Coordinator of the college’s CDL program, said. “The supply has to get to the people that are demanding it and if we don't have the driver s to take it to them then we have a problem."
According to the American Trucking Association, companies are struggling to keep up with shipping demands. The industry will need almost 900,000 truck drivers over the next decade to keep up with the increasing popularity of online shopping.
According to CSCC, drivers can earn an annual salary of $41,000.
The shortage of drivers may be a concern for consumers, but for many students, it's a solution.
"I can fully use it to my advantage," student Mirko Heber said. Heber is about halfway through the program.
Instructors said their programs are staying full, and they graduate roughly 150 students a year. Nearly all of them get jobs.
Potential employers are always asking them when the next class will enter the workforce.
"Just last week I had one employer call me three times looking for drivers," Pendergraph urged.
Those are phone calls students see as their ticket to employment.
"It's a pretty good time to do this and with the shortage, like I said, it opens up opportunities," Heber explained.