National truck driver shortage climbs, SLCC program recruiting to fill gaps

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Posted at 3:09 AM, Jun 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-30 08:03:04-04

Across the nation, a shortage of truck drivers continues to grow. Almost exactly two years ago, we reported a shortage of close to 50,000 drivers. Now that number is about double, with a need for more than 100,000 drivers across the US.

"Drivers move America. Everything in your home is there because a truck driver brought it. We have to fill that need. We can't keep seeing that increase in driver shortage without coming together and coming up with ideas to say how can we fill this need." said Charlotte Leleux. She's the Director of Transportation, Distribution and Logistics Corporate College at SLCC.

A shortage in truck drivers means slower wait times to get certain goods and higher prices, too. For incoming drivers though, the opportunities are endless.

"You can make six figures if you're willing to be away from home, driving a lot. It's what you put into it, pretty much," said Rico Francis, who is in SLCC's program to get a Corporate Drivers License.

"Having a CDL, man, it's like having a million dollars in your pocket. You know, being able to always have a job, so I can keep food on the table for my family," said Francis.

Leleux says she's passionate about promoting the career because of how it transformed her life.

"I've got several college degrees. I've been a plant manager. I have a degree in RN. I've done numerous things in my lifetime but always came back to the transportation industry because it has been so good to me and my family. I was a single mom for over 8 years to 3 kids and supported them off of the transportation industry and did it very well," she said.

Because of how long this shortage has continued, Leleux said that alternative transportation methods might be the next best option.

"We're also on the back end working with companies to develop autonomous vehicles," she said.

It may take years or a decade to get those autonomous trucks on the road, and in the meantime, drivers are in high demand.

To get involved in SLCC's CDL program,check out their website here.