December 4, 2015, Washington, DC – This month the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 7.9 million Americans are unemployed, while at the same time 5.5 million jobs remain unfilled in America. This crisis exists because employers demand “job ready” employees and prospective employees are simply not able to bridge the skills gap without appropriate education and training.
APSCU’s first look at the “Shortage of Skills” in America revolves around transportation. As our nation prepares for the holiday season, it is only appropriate that we raise the potential “Shortage of Skills” emerging in the truck driving industry. “Unless we educate and train more truck drivers, the nation will face a shortage of qualified drivers and we’ll be unable to deliver the food and the presents that make our holidays happen,” said Steve Gunderson, President and CEO of the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities.
Over the past decade, the supply of truck drivers in America has failed to keep up with the increasing amount of freight. As Bob Costello, chief economist at American Trucking Associations, recently told US News, “We're short 35,000 to 40,000 [drivers] as of 2014. I haven't quantified it yet, but I would not be surprised if that's going to average 50,000 or more this year.”
Truck drivers play a crucial role in the American economy, and with the size of freight expected to expand nearly 29% by 2026, the need for drivers is more important than ever. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an 11% increase in jobs by 2022.
With fewer drivers and more weight to lug around since the Great Recession, America's trucking industry faces a significant driver shortage.
Because of their emphasis on skills-based education, private sector institutions will be essential in meeting this need. According to the Commercial Vehicle Training Association, there exist over 180 schools in 40 states equipped to meet this need. “The current demand for professional truck drivers is huge. Most of our students will have three to five job offers before graduation.” said Barry Busada of Diesel Driving Academy in Shreveport, Louisiana.
“The programs do more than equip graduates with a commercial driver’s license. We recruit, screen and train them in the class room, on the training concourse, and behind the wheel, and placing them as entry-level truck drivers earning $38,000-$45,000 average in their first year.” said Harry Kowalchyk of National Tractor Trailer School in Liverpool, N.Y.
About Shortage of Skills (SoS)
About The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU)
PSCUs open doors to many of the 9 million unemployed and 90 million undereducated Americans by providing a skills-based education. To remain competitive over the next decade, we must identify between 8 and 23 million new workers with postsecondary skills. PSCUs are a necessary part of that solution, having produced over 800,000 degrees last year alone.