Local Truck Driving Schools See Surge Of Students Amid Driver Shortage

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Truck drivers are in high demand as companies work to combat supply chain issues.

Companies like Walmart are offering big incentives, like six figure salaries to lure people into the trucking industry.

Local driving schools are seeing their numbers for certification classes surge.

“I have a little bit of experience. But as far as the shifting. I’m learning,” said Jody Marsh.

Marsh is a student at CL Driving School. She says she was looking for a career change and saw trucking as a bright opportunity.

“I look forward to being happy at this and getting a dream to come true finally,” said Marsh.

And she’s not alone.

“We’ve been really busy. Everybody is interested in getting into truck driving,” said Christian Leguizamon.

He  is the General Manager at CL Driving School. He says they’re scheduling a month out. Higher pay and better working conditions are driving the increase.

“There is more regional jobs now where truck drivers have the opportunity to be home every night. And I think that is a huge plus,” said Leguizamon.

“Last year at this time we’d probably expect to enroll 20 to 25 students. Now we’re expecting to enroll 50 to 57 students,” explained Roscoe Meeks.

Meeks manages 160 Driving School in Charlotte. He says they had 20 people in the office ready to sign up on Thursday.

According to the latest data there is still a shortage of about 80,000 truck drivers nationwide. Companies are offering large cash bonuses; and in the case of Walmart, up to $110,000 dollars in your first year.

“I believe that is the way the trucking industry is going. I believe that is the way the industry is going,” said Meeks.