Trucking jobs arrive in Charlotte, but fewer interested
After inspecting the truck, students prepare to practice their driving skills in the practice lot, Friday, June 07, 2013, at Trans Tech Driver Education Services, 4424 Wilkinson Boulevard, Charlotte.
The long-haul trucking industry wants to hire more drivers in the Charlotte area. But recruiters say they can’t find them.
Trucking companies are shipping more goods as factory output rises and the housing market rebounds. New federal rules limit the hours truckers can be on the road, prompting the industry to look for more drivers. And as the job market rebounds, some drivers who turned to trucking as a last resort are choosing jobs that keep them closer to home, said Mike Hinz, vice president of recruiting for the trucking firm Schneider National Inc.
Schneider is looking to hire 72 new drivers in Mecklenburg County, Hinz said – nearly four times as many as during the recession. Swift Transportation has posted 44 Charlotte-based long-haul truck driving openings in the last month. And truck driving schools in Charlotte say they’ve been contacted by the most recruiters since before the recession.
Trucking employment down 3,500 jobs as overall employment rises
For the second straight month, employment in the for-hire trucking industry sank, as 3,500 jobs were shed in June, according to estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Moreover, revisions to May’s report show that 2,600 jobs were actually lost in that month, as opposed to the 700 initially reported.
The U.S. economy as a whole, however, gained jobs, as the BLS reports that 195,000 jobs were added in the month. April and May figures were upwardly revised, too, to reflect about the same amount of gains in those months. The unemployment rate, however, stayed at 7.6 percent.
LBCC Wins Grant to Train Veterans Through Truck Driving Program
Just a few weeks after graduating the first class of trained and certified short-haul truckers, Long Beach City College’s Commercial Driver Training Program is already receiving another boon.
Seeing an opportunty to utilize the program to help the area’s out-of-work veterans, the college was recently awarded a $211,733 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to expand the program to train veterans and military families for jobs in transportation.
The grant is about half of what the California Community College Chancellor’s Office gave to help launch the program and will provide funding for 60 veterans and their spouses to get behind-the-wheel training in the hopes of moving them into secure jobs at the Port of Long Beach.
Post 9/11 veterans have one of the highest unemployment rates–nearly 20% in Los Angeles County alone. School officials say that recruitment will occur in partnership with US Vets, the Villages of Cabrillo, PGWIN and LBCC’s Veterans Office.
FMCSA Sets $1 Million to Train Veterans for Transportation Jobs
The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists commercial trucking as a high-demand job, with more than 300,000 additional positions expected by 2020.
“These grants represent one of the many steps [FMCSA] has taken to help veterans as they move from military to civilian life,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro. “From allowing states to consider military experience in their licensing tests to supporting industry job fairs, we are committed to helping our veterans transition into quality jobs.”
The grants, which could provide training for as many as 300 new students, were awarded to:
• Grays Harbor College, Aberdeen, Wash. ($131,041)
• Long Beach Community College District, Long Beach, Calif. ($211,733)
• Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College, Orangeburg, S.C. ($150,000)
• Lone Star College, Woodlands, Texas ($184,260)
• Century College, White Bear Lake, Minn. ($120,000)
• Joliet Junior College, Joliet, Ill. ($176,427)