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A recently launched non-profit, The Next Generation in Trucking Association, announced new school partnerships to provide CDL driver and diesel technician programs for young adults in Kentucky, Wisconsin and California. The group was started by members of the trucking industry to engage the next generation of trucking industry professionals by partnering with both public and private schools and community/technical colleges to offer training opportunities that will eventually lead to jobs.
“Programs like this one are critical game changers for not only developing a skilled workforce but also creating pathways for that skilled workforce to advance in their careers in the trucking industry,” said Lindsey Trent, customer and business development manager for Ryder and co-chair of Next Generation in Trucking. “We are eager to train, mentor and match a fresh generation of drivers to the 21st-century needs and demands of the trucking industry.”
According to a recent estimate, the driver shortage is expected to grow to more than 174,000 by 2026. An aging fleet of drivers is one of the main reasons for the shortage. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the average age of a commercial truck driver in the U.S. is 55 years old. The average age of a driver entering CDL school is almost 35.
The Next Generation in Trucking Association aims to address this problem while at the same time providing access to well-paying careers to students without the need to incur college debt. Their goals are simple:
• Promote trucking as a positive career field.
• Encourage the training and employment of young people in the trucking industry.
• Promote their education and connect them to training and employment opportunities.
• Create a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce in communities nationwide.
The Next Generation in Trucking Association partners with schools around the country to launch CDL programs that fit their needs. Recent partnerships include Lawrence County High School in Louisa, Ky.; Jessamine Career and Technology Center, Nicholasville, Ky.; Fairdale High School, Louisville; and Lux-Casco, Luxemburg, Wis.