ERIE, Pa. — The Prime-fueled promise of next-day delivery has intensified the pressure on U.S. trucking companies, which have reported shortages of heavy-haul and tractor-trailer drivers since 2005. To keep up, companies will need to hire nearly 260,000 new drivers in each of the next 10 years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
A new training program offered by Penn State Behrend’s Office of Community and Workforce Programs will prepare drivers for a Class A Commercial Driver’s License, or CDL. The 77-hour course, offered in partnership with Erie-based Transportation Solutions, will include classroom education, hands-on vehicle inspection training, and behind-the-wheel road-skills testing.
Courses begin June 5 and July 17. Classes will be offered on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings, with additional sessions on Saturdays. Financial assistance may be available through the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act.
CDL training consists of 48 hours of classroom learning, followed by a written test that is administered at a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Driver License Center. With a CDL permit in hand, drivers advance to vehicle-inspection training, vehicle skills and 15 hours of behind-the-wheel road work.
Penn State Behrend and Transportation Solutions worked with local employers, including Barnhart Transportation and Team Hardinger, to develop the program. To learn more, or to register, contact the Office of Community and Workforce Programs at 814-898-6103 or [email protected].
Assistant director, news and information, Penn State Behrend