Lake Michigan College to offer truck driver course to help combat shortage
BENTON HARBOR, Mich. -- It’s an industry in desperate need.
“It’s never been as bad as it is right now,” Jeff Curry, President of Premium Transportations, said. “I’ve been in the industry a long time, 20 years, there’s always been some conversation about driver shortage but it is the real deal right now.”
Truck drivers are in high demand all across the U.S. The American Trucking Association says in order to fill the shortage, they would need to hire 90,000 drivers every year through 2026.
“Think about how many things we are all having delivered to our doorsteps by drivers,” Curry said. “There is a big demand for local drivers to handle those types of freight.”
Michiana is seeing a need too, which is why a local college is kick-starting something they think will help get more drivers behind the wheel.
“We get requests from various businesses all the time for a truck driving program because they can’t find enough truck drivers meet their needs,” Dr. Leslie Kellogg said, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Lake Michigan College “
At Lake Michigan College, they want to make getting into the industry both cheaper and easier.
“Students once they complete the program and sit through their licensing exams, the CDL license, and that’s what they really need to work in the industry,” Kellogg said.
And the pay? Speaks for itself.
“It is a career that is paying tremendous wages now. I have drivers making 6 figures – easy,” Curry said.
The best part is no college degree is needed to become a truck driver, just proper training which will soon be available at Lake Michigan College.
“I think it’s a great career opportunity for anyone who wants to pursue some post-secondary education but a bachelor’s degree may not be right for them,” Kellogg said. “ It’s a great field to be in that offers high wage and opportunity.”
If you’re interested in this program, it should be ready for enrollment sometime in the summer of next year. The LMC truck driver program will kick off in fall of 2019.