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SLCC program hopes to deter truck driver shortage 

Posted: 5:37 PM, Jul 02, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-02 18:37:10-04

Grocery, clothing and even car prices are rising across the United States and it’s because of one driving factor. There’s a shortage of truck drivers that is causing a slowdown of deliveries.
     
According to the American Trucking Assocation, the trucking industry has a shortage of around 50,000 drivers. That shortage could more than triple within the next eight years.

Here in Acadiana, SLCC is working to reduce that shortage. The school offers a truck driver program and it’s the largest one in the state. Recent graduate Laura Senegal says she is excited to hit the road.  She got her first job just one week after getting her CDL and graduating from the program.

It’s an excitement that SLCC hopes to inject into a sluggish trucking industry.

"The trucking industry as a whole is right around 100,000 drivers short," CDL Program Leader Charlotte Leleux said. "As a matter of fact on any given day, just our top 10 business and industry partners there’s a need of about 1200 drivers on any given day." 

The truck driving program features simulators and a track to give students practical experience. The college is also offering scholarships, thanks to business sponsors.

"We’ve brought one of our business and industry partners has come to the table to pay tuition," Leleux said. " If someone would be interested in coming into the program and becoming a CDL driver. This company will actually pay your tuition on the front end and put you to work right after the program." 

Once at work, graduates could make between $50,000 to $60,000 dollars a year. 

"It’s a very lucrative career especially someone coming out of 7 weeks of training and coming into that," Leleux said.