As the economy begins to shift into high gear, many transportation companies say they are having a difficult time finding drivers with the right qualifications and training on their resume
to fill a growing number of job openings.
"The improving economy and increased attention on driver safety records and accountability, those two factors are really working together to tighten the market for drivers," American Trucking Association spokesman Sean McNally told the Plain Dealer.
Those tougher federal regulations include an age limit and how many hours drivers can be on the road. The Association now estimates that there are more than 200,000 truck-driving jobs that are vacant across the U.S.
Ken Hardy, chief executive officer of Bonnie Speed Logistics in Ohio, told the news agency the new restrictions, the state's booming oil and gas industry and an aging population will mean that demand for truckers will only increase over the next decade.
"What's alarming is that if you look at the next five years, there will be more drivers retiring than new drivers going into the field of trucking," Hardy said.
Hardy noted that commercial truck driving is one of the top 5 occupations in Ohio lacking enough qualified workers.
Roger Rollins, general manager of the Great Lakes Truck Driving School in Columbia Station, told the news outlet that approximately 80 companies recruit graduates right out of school. Driving schools typically prepare students to take a state skills exam that includes pre-trip inspection, maneuverability and a on-the-road test.
Rollins said Great Lakes recently signed a contract with 4 career centers in Northeast Ohio in an effort to steer more people into the career field.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment opportunities for heavy and tractor-trailer driver, who must have a common driver's license on their resume, are expected to increase by 21% through 2020.