In an article posted by Reading Eagle, Bill Warner writes that there is a shortage of truck drivers, locally and nationally. According to Phillip Gonzales of Berks Technical Institute, the problem is that the supply is not keeping up with the demand for drivers. This could be due to the baby boomers retiring, the lifestyle of being a driver, or the changes in the industry.
Today, drivers need to have some kind of technology competency, and often that can intimidate older workers. Truck drivers also spend long hours on the road and have to obtain separate certifications for driving tankers, transporting hazardous materials, or carrying passengers.
Trucking companies recognize these issues and are are beginning to offer more perks for the drivers, including dedicated routes and reciprocal gym memberships. They are also doing their best to attract more women and veterans.
While motor carriers are struggling to find enough qualified drivers, help appears to be on the way. Enrollment is up at Berks Technical Institute, where students can earn a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) in as little as 4 weeks.
Trucking is becoming an attractive option for young people out of high school and older adults who are unemployed or seeking a career change. According to the article, the average salary for a first-year driver is $40,000 to $45,000.