​, July 2, 2020: For years, John Kearney of ATS points out in this article, there has been a national shortage of interstate long-haul truck drivers — and the COVID-19 crisis has only compounded the problem. As supply chains were interrupted by company closures in response to government directives, demand for truckers who could transfer and deliver business and consumer goods skyrocketed. At the same time, state driver’s license agencies shuttered, abruptly halting the process of getting new truck drivers trained, licensed, and on the road.

Some industry groups, organizations, and government offices are taking steps to find solutions to the challenge:

  • High schools are starting to seed training classes in vocational programming, thereby exposing more students aged 16-18 to long-haul rig operation as a legitimate career path.
  • New high-tech training simulations have also allowed women to explore handling a long-haul rig without safety concerns and scrutiny from a ride-along instructor.
  • Military veterans who drove large rigs as part of their service can get credit for their service experience. I’ve also seen organizations actively encourage formerly incarcerated people in search of a fresh start to consider trucking as a career.
  • Many organizations are enhancing their benefits packages to be competitive with other jobs both in the transportation industry and outside of it.
  • Many more programs are now utilizing virtual reality simulations, test-preparation mobile apps, and video training, in addition to traditional methods like on-the-road training and book learning.

For More Information

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