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BR truck driving programs seeing increase in enrollment

Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 6:56 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - “It’s a job that needs to be done all over the world,” says Carla Brown who is a student at Baton Rouge Community College’s Commercial Driver’s License. Brown says she is ready to hit the road, “my goal is to drive tractor trailers, and then further up I probably own my company.”

Brown got into the industry looking for a fresh start and a career where she can grow. “I had my class B, and I’m trying to get my class A, so I could just find more in the job in the driving market,” adds Brown.

She isn’t the only one turning to the transportation industry.

The Driving Diesel Academy is seeing an increase in enrollment, and it’s because larger trucking and shipping companies want to pay drivers more to keep them on the road to meet the demands of consumers.

“They have all raised their wages, I mean you know depending on where you go to work, and what your route is. I mean we hear everything from first year $60,000 to $85,000 a year,” says Barry Busada who is the senior vice president for the Diesel Driving Academy.

Trucking companies had to make changes to keep drivers behind the wheel. According to the Louisiana Motor Transport Association, before the pandemic, truck driver retirements led to driver shortages. During the pandemic lockdowns, an increase in online shopping created a bigger need for drivers. “The large carriers that we deal with, every one of them tells us they are turning down over a thousand loads a day. Each one of them tell us that and they are talking about that from their customers,” adds Busada.

In order to get everything to one’s doorstep or keep the shelves stocked, it all comes down to a driver and a truck. “Yeah, people don’t think about the fact that you know the large majority of everything you touch on a daily basis was delivered by a truck, always going to be needed,” says Renee Amar who is the executive director for the Louisiana Motor Transport Association.

If you are interested in signing up through CDL program through Baton Rouge Community College, you can click here: https://www.mybrcc.edu/news/cdlpa.php

If you are interested in signing up with The Driving Diesel Academy, you can click here: https://dda.edu/about-us/

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