NEWPORT (KAIT) - Region 8's roads and highways are alive with trucks. Every year thousands of truck driving jobs go unfilled because of a lack of trained drivers.
ASU Newport has the largest privately owned truck driving school in America.
Americas' economy is dependent on trucking. Everything we buy, everything we do is at some point dependent on a truck.
But without qualified, safe drivers all those goods and good times would just sit.
The commercial driver training institute at ASU Newport turns out nearly 300 qualified drivers each year. In it's 20+ year history over 20,000 drivers have rolled out to good paying jobs. And the need still increases every year.
Today we're still 20,000 truck drivers short in the United States right now. And projected to climb to close to 110 thousand drivers short by 2014.
The program is taught the way a driver would work.
Wallace, "This program is an intense program, it's just shy of three weeks long we work seven days a week, night and day holidays Sundays, we work straight through just like the trucking industry does."
I did ask and they do take Christmas off. Mitchell Bass started the program on Monday. He already has a job and getting his cdl or commercial drivers license is a job requirement.
The first few days is devoted to taking a written test.
Bass,"The first three days will prepare for the cdl test and once we pass our general knowledge test we will get a permit which will allow us to go to the range and start driving. "
Of course no school is any good without instructors and these instructors here have thousands of miles on the road and it shows in their coaching.
The school has just installed a new state of the art driving simulator, using technology like this saves fuel and wear and tear on the fleet of trucks.
Wallace, "High end brand new technology that we're able to provide to our students for en chanced training that even better prepares them for being out there in the real world of truck driving."
Milton Leak from Camden is finishing up this week, he already has a job waiting for him and this career change is exciting.