Within a few weeks of starting our Thanksgiving shopping trips to the grocery store, and in a little over a month before we start our Christmas shopping, a high school in California is ensuring that our shelves at the stores that we shop at are completely stocked.
A Great Need
With many bare shelves at the grocery stores across the country, the truck driver industry is facing a driver shortage. Industry experts say that the average truck driver is 54 years old, but with the shortage of drivers, that is now changing.
Here To Help
Patterson High School in Patterson, California is one of the first non-vocational high schools in the country to offer a truck driving training program for students. The elective course, which is open to high school seniors is a part of the school’s Career Technical Education Program, which is geared toward helping students learn workplace skills through hands on training.
A Proven Leader
The program is led by instructor Dave Dein.
Many of the students who are enrolled in the program have never considered truck driving as a career. This program shines a new light on truck driving jobs, and it helps promote truck driving jobs to youth.
The Truck Driving Training program also helps guide students through the basics of the trucking industry and trucking safety, it also teaches the regulations of getting a commercial driver’s license and it equips students to deal with real world scenarios that truck drivers face while on the road.
Dave Dein the instructor for the course is a part time trucker himself. Mr. Dein has been proudly delivering our favorite products and freight nationwide since 1988. Ever since earning his Master’s Degree in education, he still drives on the weekends and part time.
On The Decline
As of 2021, The Trucking Industry is short 68,000 drivers that are needed on the road as 25% of current truck drivers have reached retirement age, or are close to retirement.
Hiring high school graduates to drive trucks might be a help to the truck driver shortage. In the current training session at Patterson High School, students undergo 180 hours of classroom training along with 30 hours of lab sessions outside of the classroom as they gain experience in trucking. Those students who would like to pursue a career as a truck driver once they are 18 years old, must undergo further training. Current Truck drivers must be at least 21 years of age to haul goods across state lines.
The Right Time
For Some Students enrolled in the program, it’s a good way for them to receive their Commercial Driver’s License before their Graduation. A true Pathway to drive them to success on the road of life, wherever they may go.
Written by: Gary Taylor