Community college lowers tuition to create truck driver jobs

John Wood Community College in Quincy, Illinois, is coming up with a plan to create more truck driver jobs in the future.

It is estimated that nearly 500,000 truck drivers will be needed across America to ship goods from point A to point B. Because there is such a shortage of truck drivers right now but many more truck driver jobs, there are major delays in shipments. They either arrive late or they don’t arrive at all. Basically the demand for goods is not matching up with the number of truck drivers that are licensed and ready to move loads.

In the past if Missouri residents enrolled in the training course were required to pay out-of-state tuition at John Wood Community College. Now, Missouri truck driver students pay the same amount as Illinois students: $3,795.

In an effort to attract more potential drivers, WCC has lowered the Missouri resident fees for their truck driver training to be more affordable as a lure to get people into the field of truck driving.

Drivers can potentially make $40,000 a year and even more, depending on how they are reimbursed on their mileage.

“It’s an in demand job you know,” said JWCC department chair of transportation program Don Hess. “There seems to be a lot of opening for drivers and especially team drivers because we can go long distances without having to take the breaks that other drivers do.”

“There’s a huge demand for drivers right now. It’s really becoming a crisis pretty rapidly. In the next year or two it is really going to multiply and get a lot worse,” said Hess.

The training program itself takes place Monday through Friday 7 a.m.-5 p.m. for four weeks with a two or four day pre-session the week preceding class.

According to an article, for those interested, the next available class begins July 16 with the pre-session starting July 9. Following that there will be a pre-session August 20 with the adjoining class beginning August 27.

A 10-week night program is also available, during which students attend class Monday through Friday from 6-9:30 p.m. and on two Saturdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. The start date for the next night program has yet to be determined.

Training takes place in the classroom at JWCC’s Workforce Development Center located at 4220 Kochs Lane.