Truck driver

Look for a job? Free truck driver training offered

The Louisiana Workforce Commission hopes to ease the statewide truck driver shortage by offering free truck driver training to qualified applicants.

The Drive Your Future program has been spurred by the shortage of truck drivers and the supply chain crisis the country is currently facing.

“From food to furniture, truckers help keep Louisiana’s economy moving,” said LWC Secretary Ava Cates. “The pandemic has dealt a severe blow to the truck driving industry, which is essential to our state. This program will help put a new generation of drivers on the road and help keep goods moving. »

The “Drive Your Future” program will pay qualified students from across the state to attend certain accredited truck driving schools and earn their commercial driver’s license. Focusing on veterans and the underemployed, the program’s goal is to lead Louisianans on the path to a new career.

The American Trucking Association (ATA) estimates that approximately 72% of freight transportation in the United States is done by truck. The ATA also estimates that the truck driver shortage could be as high as 80,000, and that number is expected to increase for a number of reasons:

• High average age of current drivers, resulting in a high number of retirements;
• Women represent only 7% of all drivers, well below their representation in the total workforce
• Infrastructure and other issues, such as a lack of truck parking, which forces drivers to stop driving earlier than they should to find an overnight spot, and congestion, which limits capacity drivers to make deliveries safely and efficiently

“The trucker shortage isn’t going away any time soon, and we have a responsibility to get goods and services to Louisianans in a timely manner,” Cates said. “The most effective way LWC can offer is to train people and put drivers behind the wheel.”

LWC will partner with Diesel Driving Academy, Coastal Driving Academy and South Louisiana Community College to train drivers. Those interested in training and a career in truck driving can click here to apply.

The first classes are expected to start later this month.