Keep truckin' with this JWCC program

Truck driver training at JWCC

The US Labor Department reports the unemployment rate has dropped to 7.4 percent. Still, many Americans are on the lookout for jobs.

John Wood Community College may have a way to land them an open position.

KHQA's Kristen Aguirre shows you a training program that could get you on the road to work after just five weeks.

Even though they are not always our favorite vehicles to share the road with, semi-trucks aren't going anywhere. In fact the industry is looking for more drivers.

"Right now the Labor Department is predicting that the shortage of truck driver nationwide is probably around 100,000," Phil Steinkamp said.

Phil Steinkamp has been in the trucking industry for more than 30 years. He's using his experience on the road to teach a five-week truck driver training program at John Wood Community College.

"We start off the first couple of days getting the permits so that we can drive the trucks then we spend another day or so learning about the truck before we ever drive it," Steinkamp said.

The last couple of weeks are spent on the range teaching students safe driving skills.

"There are a lot of rules and regulations that need to be followed," he said.

The average pay for a driver right out of school is $40,000. One of the reasons why Rorrie Lockett decided to take part in the program.

"I have a daughter and she's six so I'm trying to make more money to provide a good future for her and myself," Lockett said. "Truck driving is a good way to make an honest living."

"Where else with such a short time of training could you earn that kind of wage," Steinkamp noted.

But before you get behind the wheel John Wood instructors want you to know that there's more to truck driving than a nice paycheck.

"You have to be responsible and prepared to be your own boss somewhat because no one is going to be looking over your shoulder," Steinkamp said. "You're going to be given a job to do and expected to complete.

Lockett is ready to take that role on. He's in his fifth week of training and already has a one job offer on the table.

"I'm ready to go to work," he said.

Steinkamp says on of the best thing Lockett can look forward to on the road, is the scenery.

"One day you're driving in the mountains the next you're in the plains," Steinkamp said.

The next John Wood truck driving program kicks off August 19th. Click here for more information from the John Wood website.

Kristen gave truck driving a try, click here to watch the cones suffer just a little!

Tomorrow on KHQA This Morning, Kristen will be live at Madison-Davis Bicycle Shop talking bike safety.