(p. B1) Trucking companies eager to hire more drivers but facing a slim pipeline of new recruits aren’t finding much to encourage them at the James Rumsey Technical Institute in Martinsburg, W.Va.
Enrollment in commercial-driving courses at the school dropped to its lowest point in about 15 years this winter, a signal that the industry’s efforts to sell workers on truck driving haven’t gained much traction. “Recruiters said all the schools were down this winter,” said instructor Michael Timmer, although he added that more students are trickling in as the weather warms.
Freight volumes in the U.S. are surging on the back of strong economic growth, as retailers and manufacturers hire more trucks to haul imports from seaports to distribution centers and raw materials to factories. But the flow of new truck drivers is lagging far behind the roaring freight market.
With unemployment at a nearly two-decade low, the downsides of life behind the wheel are making recruitment tough. Many workers are opting for construction or energy jobs that offer more time at home or better pay.
For the full story, see:
Jennifer Smith. “Trucking’s Big-Rig Life Stays a Tough Sell.” The Wall Street Journal (Wednesday, April 4, 2018): B1-B2.
(Note: the online version of the story has the date April 3, 2018, and has the title “Trucking Companies Are Struggling to Attract Drivers to the Big-Rig Life.”)