WHITE CITY, Ore. — Trucking companies are increasingly experiencing a severe shortage of drivers. Cathy Williams, the owner and instructor of Aisling Truck Academy, spoke to NewsWatch 12 — saying that in the last few years in particular, the demand for drivers is on the rise.
“The demand is huge, we’ve been experiencing at shortage for several years now. But as the baby boomers are retiring, the shortage is getting worse and worse and we don’t have enough younger people that are interested in coming into the market,” says Williams.
Newswatch 12 talked with students at the academy who say that the demand in the market is just one reason they decided to switch gears in their careers.
“If you look out on the job market, every other job is for trucking,” says James Slaton, a recent graduate of the Aisling Truck Academy.
Slaton got a job within 2 weeks of finishing his 4 week training course.
Jon Merryman is halfway through his training at the academy. He has a college degree and he’s making a transition from the business world to trucking.
“Looking at going back into the business world, I didn’t see opportunities there for me,” says Merryman.
He’s being taught by Cathy Williams. Williams contributes to the small number of women that make up the trucking industry, about 7 percent.
“I would drive down the road and people would do a double take . . . 'Oh my god, there’s a woman driving that truck!'” said Williams.
She wants people to know that this is a job for woman, that’s just one of the many misconceptions of the industry.
“Anybody is right for trucking . . . young, old, male, female. Everybody is right for trucking and it’s an industry that’s growing,” said Merryman.
Merryman said that he’s excited for the opportunities that the trucking industry will bring him and his family.