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Waco truck driving school sees increase in enrollment as country faces shortage

Posted at 5:40 PM, Apr 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-05 19:32:04-04

WACO, Texas — As the truck driver shortage continues nationwide, there's now a new push from the White House to encourage more people to get into the field.

Despite that shortage, Waco-based ATDS truck driving school told 25 News they are now seeing more students than ever before.

"We normally have like 55 to 60 students, we got 82 right now," ATDS Instructor Larry Scott said. "All of the companies are experiencing shortages. They call us constantly for drivers."

Tanzania Kellum is one of the students currently enrolled at ATDS. Her father was a truck driver growing up and now she shares the same passion. She's also working to prove women can tackle tough challenges even in male-dominated fields.

"I think it motivated me a little bit more," she said. "It doesn't matter if you're male or female, whatever you put your mind to if you have hope, faith and dedication, you can finish it. No matter how big or small the task is, you can get it done."

Kellum will graduate in a few weeks and plans to drive coast to coast delivering America's goods.

"I love to travel. I don't have any kids, yet. So what's wrong with seeing the world on top of making some money and getting the job done," she said. "My biggest thing is I always wanted to help people and I'm still helping the world in some way no matter what kind of freight you're pulling."

Truck drivers became highly sought position during the pandemic. President Joe Biden recently spoke directly to truck drivers to thank them for their work during that time.

"I want to thank you all for what you're doing to keep America moving because that's literally what you're doing," he said during a press conference. "Especially these last two years helping carry the nation literally on your backs."

This very important job is in desperate need of more help than ever before.

"If you have your CDL and want to be a truck driver, whether you want to independently own your truck or want to go work for a fleet, those are the two paths you can follow to get into truck driving," Texas Trucking Association John Esparza said.

Truck drivers say it's a rewarding field with good pay and a feeling that you're helping the community.

"It gives you a sense of self-worth, a sense of self-value," Scott said. "You can be pretty proud being a truck driver, delivering America's goods. It's a good job, a good thing to do, a good career."

If you're interested in applying, the courses are only about 5 weeks long.