ROANOKE, Va. – Trucking industry leaders are worried about workforce shortages after Virginia and other states ordered training to temporarily stop.
The change affected a Roanoke training location and thousands of people across the country who were scheduled to get their Commercial Driver’s License, or CDL.
Leaders are calling for face-to-face training restrictions to be lifted, saying they can still follow all the CDC guidelines.
“They’re a critical part of the fabric of our society. You see a lot of things in the news about praising the heroism of truck drivers. Well, the major carriers throughout the country, they really rely on that input of new drivers. We’re the ones who give birth to new drivers,” said Jill Balleh, who is a Commercial Vehicle Training Association member and the president of CDS Tractor Trailer Training, which runs the training at Roanoke’s Virginia Western Community College.
There was already a shortage of tens of thousands of drivers in America, and now there’s an increase in shipping demand, including from local businesses.