Skills Shortage in Transp.

Truck Driver

This month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 7.9 million Americans are unemployed, while at the same time 5.5 million jobs remain unfilled in America. This crisis exists because employers demand “job ready” employees, and prospective employees are simply not able to bridge the skills gap without appropriate education and training. The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities took a closer look at the skills shortage in the transportation industry. As our nation prepares for the holiday season, it is only appropriate that we raise the potential “Shortage of Skills” emerging in the truck driving industry. “Unless we educate and train more truck drivers, the nation will face a shortage of qualified drivers and we’ll be unable to deliver the food and the presents that make our holidays happen,” said Steve Gunderson, president and CEO of APSCU. Over the past decade, the supply of truck drivers in America has failed to keep up with the increasing amount of freight. “We’re short 35,000 to 40,000 [drivers] as of 2014. I haven’t quantified it yet, but I would not be surprised if that’s going to average 50,000 or more this year,” Bob Costello, chief economist for the American Trucking Associations, recently told US News. Truck drivers play a crucial role in the American economy, and with the size of freight expected to expand nearly 29 percent by 2026, the need for drivers is more important than ever. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an 11 percent increase in jobs by 2022. Because of their emphasis on skills-based education, private sector institutions will be essential in meeting this need. According to the Commercial Vehicle Training Association, there exist more than 180 schools in 40 states equipped to meet this need. The current demand for professional truck drivers is huge. Most of our students will have three to five job offers before graduation.” said Barry Busada of Diesel Driving Academy, Shreveport, La. “The programs do more than equip graduates with a commercial driver’s license. We recruit, screen and train them in the classroom, on the training concourse, and behind the wheel, and [place] them as entry-level truck drivers earning $38,000-$45,000 average in their first year.” said Harry Kowalchyk of National Tractor Trailer School, Liverpool, N.Y. 

This article was written and provided by the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities