WILLIAMSPORT, Md. (WDVM) — With the pandemic causing so much turmoil in our economy, the trucking industry is desperate to find drivers.
We have all heard the stories over the past year about snags in the supply chain because the freight hauling system is in disarray. Trucking companies are aggressively recruiting, which is a challenge because the work is demanding and takes drivers away from home. DOT Transportation in Williamsport, the largest food industry distributor in North America, gets that and wants drivers to know it can accommodate those concerns.
“Right now there’s upwards of 100,000 or more shortage of truck drivers nationwide, which causes challenges when you’re moving consumer goods and food products and things like we do here,” said David Hess, director of transportation for DOT Transportation.
Wesley Booker is a military veteran who worked at a children’s hospital and just wanted a career change. He’s learning to drive a truck for DOT Transportation looking at his new job as an adventure — a chance to see the USA.
“I’m looking forward to just seeing a bit more of the country. I’ve been in the military deployed, stationed overseas, Germany and different places. But I haven’t got to see too much of the U.S. so I’m defiantly looking forward to that,” Booker said.
Matthew Dixon is training Booker at DOT Transportation. Booker is a model student, Dixon said, and he wants more of them.
“The best part about it is everybody we’re bringing in is eager to learn, and we need the drivers. So that’s exactly what we’re after,” Dixon said.
DOT Transportation sees its paid training program as an investment in its workforce.
“We think we really give ’em an opportunity to earn a wage, get their CDL, start a new career, and hopefully have a long-lasting career with DOT Transportation,” Derek Yunker, transportation manager at DOT Transportation, said.
DOT Transportation is down 200 drivers. They’re taking applications now. The training program takes about 12 weeks. There is no enrollment fee and trainees are paid while learning. With a two-year commitment to the company, enrollment fees are waived entirely.