Clark State Community College will recognize the American Trucking Association’s National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, September 9-15, 2018. This week is set aside to honor all professional truck drivers for their work and commitment in one of the economy's most demanding and important jobs. These 3.5 million professional men and women not only deliver our goods safely, securely and on time, they also keep our highways safe.
Currently, Clark State has 20 students enrolled in the Commercial Driver’s License program. Duane Hodge, director of the Clark State Commercial Transportation Training Center, said this enrollment number has significantly increased. “We have added a weekend option and demand is stretching our capacity,” he said. “The next two weekday classes that start September 4 and October 1 are already full, and weekend classes are booked through December 2.”
Hodge said driving trucks does require personal commitment, “The small investment in time and money make it a highly sought after career.”
The American Trucking Association stated in a May 28 article that nationally, the industry is short approximately 60,000 drivers. Hodge explained that demand from companies like Amazon and Walmart who are offering free two-day shipping is a trend that is picking up with other retailers as well.
According to the American Trucking Association, the driver shortage and these new demand models are causing delays and higher prices to consumers. The growing economy is putting significant strain on everything in the supply chain and is a major constraint to national growth. Hodge said if we want to continue to increase GDP, we will definitely need more drivers.
Hodge said we are fortunate in this region with the Interstate 70/Interstate 75 corridor, Navistar and Honda as there is plenty of local work. “I am finding most of it is starting to be 2nd and 3rd shift now, but drivers can make $1000 - $1,250 a week in a local job in this area right now,” he said.
Hodge said there are plenty of local, regional and dedicated jobs available right out of school, and Clark State has courses starting every four weeks. Interested students should call the program office at (937) 328-6054.
“Like everyone else in this industry, we are looking for good people,” said Hodge. “If you have at least three years of CDL Class A driving experience and think you would make a good trainer, please contact us. We are always looking for good people to grow our program.”
Clark State's Commercial Transportation Training Center offers several truck driver programs of varying duration and intensity, for both corporate employees and newcomers to the industry. Programs conclude with the participants obtaining Class A or Class B CDL licensing and job placement assistance if needed.
CDL A, Weekday Training Program: This four-week truck driver course runs Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and starts with 40 hours of classroom instruction that includes defensive driving, logbook and hours of service, map reading and trip planning, vehicle inspection, vehicle familiarization, coupling and uncoupling and backing. Another 120 hours are dedicated to truck training.
Weekend Training Program: The new weekend training program is a six-week truck driver course that is held on Saturdays and Sundays, 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. The course content for the weekend training program is identical to the weekday program above.
CDL B Endorsement Program: This 80-hour program starts with 40 hours of classroom. Another 40 hours is dedicated to Class B road and range training. Class B testing is conducted on the last day of class.
Tractor-Trailer Refresher Program: This three-week course is for experienced truck drivers who hold a valid Class A CDL and need to refresh their skills prior to going back to work. The course runs Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and consists of 120 hours of road and range training.