Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Truck drivers are in high demand in the state of Kansas. The Department of Commerce is looking to train people to fill nearly 2,000 open truck driving positions in the state, mostly in the oil and gas industry.
Ernest Tousley spent 20 years driving trucks in the Army.
"Hauling anything from for example ammunition, fuel,” Tousley said.
He's retired from the military but he's ready to get back behind the wheel of a big rig.
"I'm learning new traits, new skills but at the same sense it's kind of like a job I’ve had for 20 years and now I'm starting another career doing the same thing I’ve always done. So I’m really looking forward to it,” Tousley said.
Before he can head out on the open road, Tousley needs his commercial driving license. That's what brought him to the Wichita Truck Driving School.
"As a CDL driver, you're held to higher standard than an automobile driver so there's a lot of rules and regulations that you have to heel toe to if you want to stay a CDL driver,” Instructor Joe Patzel said.
The Kansas Department of Commerce is encouraging more people to get truck driving training, because right now there are more than 1,600 open positions in Kansas.
Patzel says recruiters come to their school looking to hire students all the time and the majority of their graduates land work right away.
"Some of them want you to have a year or two experience before they hire you but there are plenty of companies that will hire you right out of school,” Patzel said.
Ernest Tousley tells us he's confident that once he get his license, one of those 1,600 open truck driving jobs will be his.
"I don't think I’m going to have a problem at all, finding the job,” Tousley said.
The Commercial Driver's License training program is about five weeks long and the Kansas Department of Commerce does offer tuition scholarships.
For more information on training sites in your area and a list of available truck driving jobs, visit kansasworks.com via the link provided.
To find out if you are eligible for tuition assistance, call KANSASWORKS at 877-509-6757.