Those interested in pursuing a career as a truck driver recently received the opportunity to speak with representatives from local companies that are in need of drivers.
Representatives were on hand at a transportation career event held at the Fox Valley Technical College Clintonville campus, Wednesday, Feb. 25. Companies represented were Faulks Brothers of Waupaca, Larsen Cooperative of New London, and Reinhart Food Service of Shawano.
Those in attendance learned about what a career as a truck driver entails, the compensation package truck drivers are likely to receive, and what kind of training is required to be a truck driver.
Dustin Millard, the representative from Larsen Cooperative said the demand for truck drivers is very high.
“You would not believe the amount of truck drivers that are required, whether its seasonal drivers or fulltime over the road drivers,” he said. Events like the one held at FVTC are important in filling this need, he said.
“Getting the word out about opportunities in truck driving is very important and I feel the Tech does a very good job on that,” Millard said. “Getting people involved in their program and they’re very easy to approach about it. Once they’re done, the Tech also gives input to help them get a job and setup in it. It’s a full package.”
Dan Poeschel, associate dean transportation for Fox Valley Technical College, said the program was the first of its kind held at the Clintonville campus.
“We’re trying to reach people in the Clintonville community to help them, to support them, and if they want to improve their life situation, get a better job, move up, obviously this is an opportunity,” Poeschel said. “We’re going to do what we can to help them get a better job.”
Both Poeschel and Kim Manteuffel, director of the Clintonville Regional Center for FVTC, said they were pleased with the turnout at the event.
“We did something similar to this in Chilton and we didn’t have half as many there,” Poeschel said.
Having representatives from area companies speak directly to those in attendance was important.
“It’s a lot better for people who actually have the jobs [to speak], than for us to just try to sell our training,” Poeschel said. “We’re not really here trying to sell our training. We’re trying to get them a job.”
He said FVTC offers training for every facet of CDL licensing. It also offers refresher training for those who already have a CDL license.
With the demand FVTC has had for its transportation programs, it has expanded its staff by 10 over the past year, as well as increasing the size of the building.
“The industry has a huge amount of need. They talk about 100,000 shortage of drivers across the country. We’re just small in comparison, but we have over 60 trucks and trailers,” Poeschel said.
Not all the training takes place in Clintonville, but FVTC is working on providing as much training as possible in Clintonville. That way those in the area who are in the program don’t have to drive to Appleton as often.
“It’s an opportunity to really improve their income,” Poeschel said. “I think that’s the biggest thing for them. It’s more than just a job, it’s a career. That’s a lifechanging thing that we can help them with.”