Call For Action: Trucking Jobs

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(CLEVELAND)

Good jobs can be hard to find, but it helps to look in the right direction.

Whether your career is stalled or in the planning stages, your search for a new future may be easier if you focus on the industries that are ripe with opportunity.

"There ain't a job out there, that you can make the money you're making driving a truck," said Tom Little, from Chardon, a recent graduate of Tri-C's Regional
Transportation Institute in Euclid.

Little is starting over at the age of 48.  He lost his job at the Perry Plant about a year ago and couldn't find work until he enrolled in Tri-C's truck driving school.

He told Fox 8's Call For Action he had his first call for an interview one day after graduating the course.

"I was amazed they called me back that quick, I was totally surprised," he said.

"A beginning truck driver can usually make between $35,000 and $40,000," said John Buckridge, a truck driver of more than 20 years.  He loves the work so much he teaches others how to do it at the Institute.

"There's no age requirement, there are drivers out there that are 70 and 80 years old that are still driving," said Buckridge.

He told Taylor the trucking industry is short about 250,000 drivers and that number is expected to double by next year.  He said demand for qualified drivers is so high, that nearly all of his graduates get two or three job offers before they finish the course.

It's a rigorous program that lasts between five and six weeks, depending on the student.  Classes simulate a typical day in the life of a driver, beginning at 7:00 in the morning and ending around 6:00 at night.  Students spend 40 hours in class and 120 hours behind the wheel before graduating.

Anwar Willis, 27, from Cleveland, said it was a tough program but not impossible.  He told Taylor he had no doubt his training would forever change the direction of his life.

"Oh, I'm very excited. This is something I've wanted.  This is a goal that I wanted to accomplish, and I accomplished it, so I'm very excited," said Willis.