Local News

Jul 9, 2013 3:51 PM by Rachel Cole - rcole@kristv.com

Truck Driver Training Drawing in Dozens

CORPUS CHRISTI - The Eagle Ford Shale is pumping big money into the local economy and creating a boom in jobs. One industry in particular, is in high demand for truck drivers and the Del Mar College Transportation Service has a fairly long waiting list for that program.

President of Del Mar College, Mark Escamilla says the wait list has gone from 90 days to 30.

The big rig driving program will get trainees a license to drive an 18-wheeler in about a month. President Escamilla assures drivers planning to train that there will be plenty of jobs available at the end of the course.

"Right now, the demand for truck driving is greater than its ever been frankly, in this area. We have all our retail and our industrial base, it's really magnified the needs here in the community," President Escamilla said.

He says that even though the demand is rising, the waiting list to take the course has decreased thanks to more simulators available for the high volume of people interested in trying out the training. Six simulators have been added the growing program along with real operating trucks.

"We have 6 actual trucks that we train in, in addition to our simulators," he added.

In just under four weeks someone can qualify to drive a big rig and rake in big bucks.

"Credentials and experienced drivers are making well into the 6 figures," president Escamilla said.

How tough is the training? Board of Regents member Elva Estrada, gave the simulator a whirl.

"I was scared at first but it was kind of fun, it's fun, not as hard as it looks," she said.

The course costs 35-hundred dollars and day and evening classes are available. There's no shortage of students waiting to get signed up for the classes and instructors recommend registering sooner rather than later.

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