Demand for truck drivers could increase the price of merchandise - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Demand for truck drivers could increase the price of merchandise

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SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -

The number of applicants for a commercial driver’s license is dwindling, however the demand is higher than it's ever been before. Most things we buy from the store are delivered by truck.

“The consumer should be concerned about what's going on right now in the trucking industry, because this is directly going to affect everyone,” said Debby Moble, CFO of Truck American Training. “So, if we don't have enough truck drivers to move the product, then you and me, the consumer, are going to pay a higher price.”

Today, classes at Truck America Training in Shepherdsville are half the size they were 16 years ago when the facility opened.

“[That's] because the baby boomers are retiring, and the young people are not coming into this industry,” Mobley said.

Mobley said most young people interested in the program aren't able to pass the pre-employment screening. To get into the program, students need a clean background, a stable employment history, and they need to pass a drug test.

“You put all of that together ,and you have a smaller population of working people, and you have a shortage. It's simple,” Mobley said.

Despite the shortage, trucking is a major industry in the Metro area.  Mobley says it's the base of our local economy.

"Kentucky is centrally located between the north and the south," Mobley said. "There is a reason why UPS chose this to be their hub. Corridor 65 is one of the most traveled interstates in the country, so if you're close to 65, and you’re centrally located in the country, you're a huge hub for the transportation industry." 

That's why students like Wayne Meenach are taking the commercial driver’s license exam. Mobley says he fits the mold of a modern truck driver. It's not his first career.

“It's a great fit for these people who have lost their jobs in the factories,” she said.

“Our factory had shut down. I had worked there for 23 years,” Meenach said. “There are some good paying jobs out there, kind of equal to what I was making or even better.”

The trucking industry needs to hire about 89,000 people each year over the next decade to keep up with demand. 

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