ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) — We’ve seen it several times in the St. Louis metro area, shopping malls shutting down and people switching to online shopping from the comfort of their own homes. That switch is causing a major demand for truck drivers.
Roadmaster Drivers School, a nationwide company, saw the need for drivers in Missouri and built a new school in north St. Louis.
“There’s a shortage of drivers that’s been going on for years but its gotten worse since COVID began,” said Roadmaster President Brad Ball. “A lot more drivers retired and supply and demand shifted when e-commerce started booming. So, here we are with an even greater shortage of drivers and that’s why we are here in St. Louis.”
Ball said the four week program is open to people coming in with all levels of education.
“Most people come to us unemployed or underemployed,” Ball said. “They have no college degree, generally. It’s good to have a high school diploma but if you don’t, we can get by that with an entrance exam.”
Jacob Richardson had his eyes set on a masters degree in Psychology but is learning to be a truck driver to make some extra money.
“I had a recruiter walk me through everything,” said Richardson. “I didn’t need to put any money down for a CDL license and the company, Warner, is actually helping me pay for some of that, so that’s cool.”
Ball said first year drivers typically make $50,000 a year or more.
“Not to mention, I’m allowed to bring my pet with me,” Richardson said. “They have a pet program and a rider program.”
The National Tank Truck Carriers, NTTC, estimates that this shortage in drivers will start to cost the rest of us at the pump and while shopping online.
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