A conversation that comes up a lot in the trucking world is the fact that there is a major shortage of truck drivers in the United States. There are many potential solutions – hiring millennials as truck drivers, offering higher wages, providing better benefits or perks. Some suggest that if companies were able to hire more women in trucking, it could help alleviate the shortage.
The problem is that women face many barriers when it comes to entering the trucking workforce. They’re concerned about safety and being on the road alone. Because there aren’t many women in the industry, perhaps women don’t feel welcome – trucking does have a “macho” image and has long been seen as a man’s world, after all. To encourage women to become truck drivers and help them feel safe throughout the CDL and training process, Calhoun Community College in Alabama will offer a CDL training class just for women.
The course will be held from September 4th – 27th. It’s a 160-hour course, with classes taking place Monday-Thursday from 8am-5pm. The class will be taught by instructor Mary Smith. Along with the CDL training, the course will also have recruiters come to speak and meet with the students to discuss opportunities for after drivers get their CDL. There are funding opportunities for eligible students.
According to the Calhoun Community College website, the goal of the class is to prepare students to pass the written and road test for their Class B or Class A CDL.
What’s the logic behind having a CDL class just for women? The aim is to get women who might not feel comfortable going to CDL class with men – and male instructors – to sign up. By having a class filled with just women (and the option to work with a female instructor) Calhoun hopes to create an environment where women in trucking feel both safe and welcome.
With trucking being such a male-dominated industry, the class offered by Calhoun Community College aims to take away the worry that many women feel about the possibility of being ridiculed or scorned by their male peers for wanting to pursue a career in trucking. And, since getting a CDL requires spending a good deal of time with an instructor, the prospect of being able to have a female teacher may make many aspiring women in trucking feel more comfortable.
For more information, see the Calhoun Community College CDL page.
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