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Keep on trucking: Albany Tech trains students to tackle truck driver shortage

Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 5:34 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - An Albany Technical College (ATC) instructor said getting a commercial driver’s license could bring you a quick and steady job.

“The goal is to help students change their lives and get into another career, show them a better opportunity to have a stable job and workplace,” Dennis Oliver, ATC commercial truck driving instructor, said.

Oliver said that stability lures many students. They work in a hands-on environment, learning specifics of a truck, from the front to the back.

“We train you with coursework. We train you with a pre-trip, post-trip, and cab inspections,” Oliver said. “We help with backing skills, your shifting, and on the road driving.”

Dennis Oliver, Commercial Truck Driving Instructor
Dennis Oliver, Commercial Truck Driving Instructor(WALB)

He said now’s a great time to pursue a trucking career.

“Because they’re offering financial aid to certain students with the HOPE grant and also it’s proven that trucks still move through COVID,” said Oliver.

Oliver said their contract with Southern AG allows students to learn what they need to do to get a job.

Southern Ag Hiring Manager Devin Griffin said although new hires must have experience, they stay connected with students going through the program.

“We definitely want to put our name out in front of them and put us on their radar. That way when they get experience, we can hopefully give them an opportunity,” said Griffin.

Devin Griffin, Hiring Manager at Southern AG
Devin Griffin, Hiring Manager at Southern AG(WALB)

Griffin said the demand is high for drivers, with a competitive starting pay.

“It’s a short amount of schooling for coming out the gate making pretty good money as long as you got a good, strong work ethic,” said Griffin.

The driver shortage, Griffin pointed out, has been going on for years.

For more information on the program, click here.

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