High schoolers are learning how to drive big rigs because of the widespread trucker shortage

Oct 18th

Alrighty kiddos, get your step stools and climb into that 18-wheeler.

When you think "trucker" your mind probably pictures a 50-something dude with a beard, coffee, and a cigarette, but even those tough guys couldn't withstand the labor crisis happening across the U.S.

There aren't enough qualified truckers left ... so, this California high school is training teens to take the wheel:

Some of you may have noticed empty shelves in stores everywhere, robots replacing servers, and restaurants practically begging for anyone to work.

* cough #EmptyShelvesJoe cough, cough *

This all has to do with the labor crisis and supply chain– and truckers were even struggling before the pandemic hit.

Trucker shortages are contributing to those empty store shelves and shipping delays. Many companies went out of businesses and many truckers aren't getting back on the rig.

Lots of truckers retired because that 50-something-year-old we were picturing earlier is a reality– the average truck driver is in their early to mid-50s.

Now, it's up to the new generation.

Patterson High School in California is the first non-vocational high school in the country to offer a class on truck driving, according to NPR, and will offer hands-on training to the school's seniors.

And I just have to say, I am all for this. If more schools taught real courses like this one instead of, I don't know, Critical Race Theory the world might be a better place.

"A lot of [students] who enroll in the course have never considered trucking as a career," instructor Dave Dein told NPR. "Trucking doesn't have a great reputation and it comes with a lot of misconceptions about what exactly a truck driver is... If we don't start promoting trucking to our youth, they only can make decisions on the information that they have."

The industry is now short 68,000 drivers that are needed on the roads, according to Lindsey Trent of the Next Generation in Trucking Association.

"We need good, safe drivers. Instead of [trucking] being a second or third career choice for people, we're trying to be the first choice and really attract talent in our industry at a younger age," Trent told NPR.

So, it seems as though children really are our future.


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