Truck Driver Shortage Leads to Instant Hires for Truckers Graduating from Waukesha County Technical College


The nationwide truck driver shortage is leading to instant hires for some truckers graduating from Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC).

“We have 50 to 75 employers that hire our students the day after graduation,” said Douglass Clarks-Pritchard, a trucking instructor at WCTC. “Several students in my last class, they were hired before they even completed the class.”

Estimates say that the United States is short around 80,000 truckers. “I think we’re in this for a few reasons,” Clarks-Pritchard told WISN 12 News. “There is a generation of people who are walking away from trucks.”

The trucking shortage has been facing the nation for months now, but some experts say that it was years in the making. The president of Diesel Driving School in Sun Prairie, Jerry Klabacka, said in early November that “the shortage of drivers started about 20 years ago, but it’s become very severe recently.”

Klabacka said he believes the issues run deep, partly due to supply chain issues the United States is already facing and partly due to unpredictability.

He said, “The hours are not set in stone. You get off one day at four [o’clock,] you might get off the next day at nine. If you’re a dump truck driver and it rains, you’re not working so there’s a lot of irregularity to it.”

A Wisconsin-based trucking company, Schneider National, is hoping to help find solutions.

“We are facing challenges, and we are working tirelessly to recruit but also especially retain those professional drivers,” John Bozec, Schneider’s vice president, said.

“Do we need to do more in that space? How do we think about meeting their needs at an even greater degree, so whether it’s home time, whether its pay, whether it’s equipment.”

Pete Lukszys, a senior lecturer at the University of Madison, told WQOW in early November that, “I hear from large truckload shippers that they’re turning away about half the shipments right now because they don’t have enough drivers.”

WISN 12 News reported that some lawmakers are ​​petitioning Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, asking for assistance creating a federal program that “recruits and trains truck drivers” to try to alleviate some of the burden on the supply chain.

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Hayley Feland is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun and The Wisconsin Daily Star | Star News Network. Follow Hayley on Twitter or like her Facebook page. Send news tips to [email protected].




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