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Ohio Looking to Fill Truck Driver Jobs

With the job market in the sad state that it's in, amazingly there are still more than 200,000 truck driving jobs that need to be filled across the country. Now Ohio is taking up the call for more, and particlarly, new truck drivers.

According to Marcia Pledger in the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

"Recent federal safety regulations aimed at making the roads safer have led to stricter enforcement of driver and trucking company compliance. Dubbed the CSA Initiative, for Compliance, Safety, Accountability, new regulations for the first time make drivers personally accountable when violations are attached to their driving records. The changes, which are making it harder for companies to hire and keep drivers, include shorter work hours for drivers, stricter random drug testing and a closer look at driver safety records..."

"'Anything you buy in a store, it can be made in Japan or wherever, but in order to get to you, it usually has to go on a truck.' Ken Hardy, chief executive officer of Bonnie Speed Logistics, which transformed from a courier company to a freight and logistics company, said commercial truck driving is one of the top five occupations in Ohio lacking enough workers. Meanwhile, demand for truckers in the shale oil and gas industry is expected to take off in the next decade. 'What's alarming is that if you look at the next five years, there will be more drivers retiring than new drivers going into the field of trucking,' Hardy said."

However, there is good news for folks looking to start a new career and the shortage has opened a lot of opportunity for new drivers:

"At Great Lakes Truck Driving School in Columbia Station, general manager Roger Rollins said about 80 companies hire graduates right out of school, but with a year's experience, opportunities triple. Still, he said, his classes are only about half-full, because short-term training courses don't qualify for guaranteed government student loans and grants are limited."

"Two weeks ago he signed a contract with four career centers in Northeast Ohio in efforts to steer more people into the field. 'Everybody is foreseeing what's going to happen when the natural oil and gas drilling comes full-blown in the state of Ohio,' Rollins said. 'The demand for drivers is going to go through the roof, and area career centers are starting to realize it.' Kreigh Spahr, program manager at Cuyahoga Community College's Truck Driving Academy in Euclid, said that at his school with just four seats and classes that start every two weeks, his classes are generally always full."

Considering the range of the shortage and the extent of the coming crisis, it is obvious that the government needs to make some changes in the student loan rules. And while you should definitely let your voice be heard on that issue, don't let that stop you or wait around for the government to make any changes! Many trucking companies are being very pro-active and have sponsored training and/or repayment of outside training programs available right now. So, if you have a clean driving record and no drug or alcohol issues, now may be the best time to start a new career in an enduring and rapidly growing industry.

See the full story here: