WINTER HAVEN, Fla .– Supply chain issues highlight the need for truck drivers.
Reynaldo Saez is about to complete his training at FleetForce Truck Driving School in Winter Haven.
“Right now, with the opportunities in the trucking industry and the money that can be made, I thought it was the best time,” Saez said.
The best part is he didn’t have to pay a dime. Trucking companies are in desperate need of drivers. They have started a program so that aspiring truck drivers do not have to pay for a driving school.
“America needs 1.1 million truck drivers over the next 10 years and Florida needs about 25% of that number,” said Tra Williams, president of the FleetForce Truck Driving School.
Williams is hopeful that FleetForce can meet this urgent need. Tuition fees at his school are over $ 6,000. Now students can train for free and are guaranteed a job after graduation.
“Most employers who recruit from our ranks offer sign-up bonuses. They have very strong health plans, very strong retirement plans, ”Williams said.
He said the shortage of truck drivers was a problem long before the pandemic. In the United States, more than 1,000 truckers retire each week. At FleetForce, they are working on recruiting female drivers to replace those who are leaving.
“The carriers are very excited to hire women. They are cheaper to insure, they cause fewer accidents. And we hope to make women realize that this is also an industry for them, ”said Williams.