FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Noticing an increase in gas prices, or the item needed at a grocery story is out of stock? That can be the impact of the current trucker shortage.
The demand for truck drivers started well before the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the American Trucking Associations (ATA) , the trucking industry struggled with a shortage of truck drivers more than a decade prior to 2020, but the pandemic exposed this problem even worse.
Despite the nationwide shortage of truck drivers, Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne is still seeing an increase in students for its Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Program.
In fact, Jenn Tippmann, enrollment coordination for the program, said everything is going “fantastic.” She told WANE 15’s Briana Brownlee that the school receives new inquires daily with students applying for funding and their learner’s permit. She added that classes are held every three weeks with around four to 12 students.
“In fact, it may have even increased from last year,” Tippmann said. “Something I heard often was that people had the opportunity because whatever happened to their current employment, if they were laid off or if there was downtown, they said, ‘Hey, this is the time for me to step out and try something I always wanted to try.’”
Tippmann said many students came into the program making around minimum wage from their previous employer and now earn around $50,000-$60,000 a year. She said since there is such a shortage and demand for Class A CDL drivers, the industry is making sure it is a desirable opportunity.
With a Class-A CDL license, that person can drive any vehicle on the road, from the semi trucks to smaller vehicles like waste management trucks.
Click here, for more information on Ivy Tech’s CDL program.