April 02–TIFTON, Ga. — Kerrie Wilson, program chair for Commercial Truck Driving (CDL) at Southern Regional Technical College, was recently elected by her peers to serve a three-year term on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Publicly Funded Truck Driving Schools (NAPFTDS) at its annual conference in San Antonio, Texas.
The NAPFTDS is an organization for the promotion of public education for the transportation industry. Through membership, educators can network with other truck driving schools across the country to provide the highest quality, most cost-effective, and up-to-date training available.
The magnitude of this national recognition is not lost on the SRTC administration.
“Kerrie is an extremely organized individual who leads by example. She is passionate about the truck driving industry and about providing quality training for our students. She stays abreast of the state and federal guidelines affecting the trucking industry and works directly with the TCSG Academic Affairs Director to update the program curriculum as needed. It is an honor and a privilege to work with Kerrie,” commented Tina Strickland, SRTC’s Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs.
“I am honored to be elected to the NAPFTDS Board. What an exciting opportunity to work with state & federal agencies, trucking associations, industry leaders, and driver training facilities throughout the country. We anticipate the next few years will be a crucial time for the trucking industry with many new regulations impacting driver licensing, training curriculums, and medical & drug testing procedures. Every aspect of the industry will be affected. NAPFTDS is a voice for driver training programs nationwide, and an invaluable resource to help shape and implement some of these changes,” stated Wilson.
NAPFTDS is committed to providing training programs that earn and maintain public confidence, adhering to sound and ethical business practices. NAPFTDS recognizes that member schools engage in direct marketing; and, thereby, assume certain responsibilities toward potential students, other member schools, employers, and the community at large. NAPFTDS hereby sets forth the basic fair and ethical principles and practices to which member schools will adhere in the conduct of their training.
Citing data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for all truck drivers in the United States in 2016 was $43,590 per year, or $20.96 per hour, based on a 40-hour work-week. The demand for truck drivers is expected to grow at an average rate of 6 percent through 2026, but Wilson says the demand for drivers in our area far outweighs the supply of graduates.
“Job placement for our graduates is easy. The trucking industry has struggled with a national driver shortage for the past 15 years. With an aging fleet of drivers planning to retire over the next few years, the driver shortage is not expected to be resolved any time soon. The American Trucking Association estimates that we will need an additional 898,000 drivers to meet demand over the next decade.”
“And trucking companies are taking notice. They have increased wages considerably over the last couple of years (some as much as 17%), are offer sign-on bonuses, have changed their logistics to offer more and regular home-time, offer better benefits, and have more lenient rider policies for spouses, kids & pets.”
“More importantly, trucking companies are having a difficult time finding qualified drivers. It’s not your grandfather’s industry anymore. Trucking companies want drivers that have been through school; they are looking for drivers with advanced skills, know the regulations, and how to use the new technology. That’s what SRTC offers. We just can’t produce graduates fast enough,” continued Wilson.
The Commercial Truck Driving Technical Certificate of Credit is a seven-and-a-half-week sequence of courses provides basic training in the principles and skills of commercial truck operations. The program is based on the definition of a truck driver as one who operates a commercial motor vehicle of all different sizes and descriptions on all types of roads. At the completion of the program, the student is administered the Georgia CDL Skills Exam. This program also qualifies for a $1,000 tuition stipend under the HOPE Career Grant guidelines.
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