That, along with “robust benefit offerings,” are some of the tools being used to stabilize workforce numbers in the profession.
“We’re just trying to do our best to be highly competitive knowing that the workforce marketplace out there is getting extremely competitive as well,” Balzer said.
While ATA recruits via its Trucking Moves America program at www.truckingmovesamerica.com, local training both public and private continues to grow.
Enrollment at the Ohio Business College Truck Driving Academy in Butler County's Madison Twp. has been "a roller coaster" in the past decade or so, with a "huge slowdown" coming as the recession slowed government funding of loan options, according to training manager James Chambers.
The return of those options and the introduction of new grants in the last eight months has led to an uptick in enrollment at classes at the academy, which are offered every two weeks, he said.
It helps that the demand for new drivers is heavy, with approximately two dozen companies trying to recruit students from the training academy, Chambers said.
Butler Tech started offering a CDL program May 2014 in five-weeks for a daytime class and 10 weeks for an evening class, according to Scott Palmer, the school’s executive director of adult education.
Enrollment growth has increased by approximately 10 percent each year with current employment totals on target to serve about 150 students for the fiscal year ending in June, Palmer said.
Butler Tech works with 120 companies looking to recruit new drivers, with companies coming to the campus on a rotating basis to visit with students.
”Our students"Many of them have job offers contingent upon passing of the CDL test,” Palmer said. “Once they have the test passed, then they’re able to secure full-time employment.
“You can get a job making a sustainable wage for a individual and his or her family. We’re in the right spot at the right time,” he said.