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TJC program helps to meet demand for skilled truck drivers

The coronavirus’ disruption to the world’s supply chain has been ongoing for almost two years.

However, it’s especially noticeable at this time of year, as families are searching store shelves for that perfect gift or for ingredients to their holiday meals.
 
Truck drivers are key to getting those coveted items where they are needed — and, right now, the demand for skilled drivers is red hot.
 
The $791.7 billion trucking industry hauls 72.5 percent of all freight transported in the United States and employs about 6 percent of all full-time workers. Due to current world events, plus the loss of drivers due to attrition, the American Trucking Associations estimates that, this year, the truck driver shortage will hit a historic high of just over 80,000 drivers.
 
The Tyler Junior College Truck Driver Training program is poised to help fill that growing need.
 
“Community colleges are uniquely positioned to meet the workforce needs of the region,” said Brent Wallace, dean of the TJC School of Continuing Studies.
 
“Our mission includes providing comprehensive programs that meet the needs of our community. The current truck driver shortage is a challenge within our region, and TJC is prepared to meet that challenge through our truck driver training program.”
 
Offered through the TJC School of Continuing Studies and in partnership with Career Trucking School Inc., the program provides driving instruction and hands-on experience to students who wish to enter this important career field.
 

TJC Trucking Joyce Hill

Joyce Hill

Joyce Hill, of Chandler, has been managing payroll for her husband’s trucking business for several years, but she recently decided to try life in the driver’s seat.
 
“My husband is a truck driver, and we have seven trucks,” she said. “I’ve done office work for a while and decided to change into being a driver.”
 
Hill said her husband’s company transports mobile homes, which is more specialized and requires more permits for its oversized payload — but it also pays more, which influenced her decision.
 
“It’s going great,” she said of the TJC program. “I’ve learned so much, and the instructors here are awesome. You learn a little more every day. [The program] has not only helped me in learning to drive, it has also made me more aware of the conditions on the road and road etiquette.”
 

TJC Trucking Gary Parker

Gary Parker

Gary Parker, of Tyler, saw the TJC program as a way to go into business with his son.
 
“I’ve got a construction business and it’s up and running; so I’m doing a midlife career change, and my son and I are getting into the trucking business together,” Parker said.
 
“He has already been through the school and gotten his license, and he’s got a couple of trucks on the road, and now I’m going through the school. It’s going well. I believe it’s a great program. There’s a need for [drivers], so if you go through this program, you get in here and you learn it, they will help you find a job — and right now, people need to go to work.”
 
Wallace concluded, “TJC is prepared to meet a number of workforce challenges—including the current challenge of truck driver shortages. We have a unique opportunity to impact lives by creating transformative career pathways. People who go into high-demand job fields, like truck driving, enjoy high pay and job security.”   
 
About the program
The TJC program is offered in two parts: Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Written Skills and Professional Truck Driver Training.
 
The 80-hour written course provides classroom instruction on:
• Basic operation of a commercial truck
• Principles of visual search, signaling, speed management terrain management and maneuvering in traffic
• Ways of recognizing hazardous situations in advance, emergency braking techniques, evasive actions, causes of skidding and jackknifing, and techniques for recovering from such emergencies
• Function and operation of all key vehicle systems
• How to complete a driver’s daily log, hours of duty limits, required rest periods, the basic procedure for handling the scene of an accident, reporting accidents, basic first aid, and extinguishing fires
• Preparation for mastery of the Commercial Driver’s License written exam
 

TJC Trucking

The TJC Truck Driver Training program, offered through the TJC School of Continuing Studies and in partnership with Career Trucking School Inc., provides instruction and hands-on experience to students who wish to enter this essential career field.

The 160-hour training course provides hands-on instruction on:
• Basic operation of a commercial truck
• Principles of visual search, signaling, speed management terrain management and maneuvering in traffic
• Ways of recognizing hazardous situations in advance, emergency braking techniques, evasive actions, causes of skidding, and jackknifing, and techniques for recovering from such emergencies
• Function and operation of all key vehicle systems
 
Qualified program applicants must have a high school diploma or a GED certificate. In addition, students must be at least 21 years of age, have an acceptable driving record, pass a Department of Transportation Physical Exam, have the ability to read, write and speak the English language, and meet the requirements of the Motor Carrier Federal Safety Regulations, Qualifications of Drivers.
 
For more information, go to TJC.edu/ContinuingStudies/TruckDriving.
 

 

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