JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – After the truck driving industry took a hit during COVID-19, organizations like Florida-based Roadmaster Drivers School aims to train at least 300 drivers in south Jackson a year.
“This is a great freight thoroughfare. It means the jobs are here,” said President of Roadmaster Drivers School Brad Ball.
Ball said up until stimulus checks took off and e-commerce exploded, that’s when the demand for drivers increased.
After a course of about 4 weeks, Justin Gatlin said he looks forward to getting behind the wheel and hitting the road.
“I got a trade doing, so I thought that’s something not doing too good right now. I know me driving tucks would be very quick and something I’d have a living off of,” said Gatlin.
With the truck driving shortage, driving pay is higher. Drivers are said to make an average of about $50,000 a year.
“Probably the best thing about trucking is the job security and the fact there in no pay gap tied to race or gender. Everybody gets paid by the mile, so it’s a wonder opportunity regardless of your background or your education.
For Gatlin, he’s in it for the long haul.
This south Jackson location on Highland Drive makes this the 15th Roadmaster Drivers School with plans to add five more across the country before the end of the year.
The shortage for drivers in the U.S. stands at 60,000, according to data. That shortage is expected to grow over the next 10 years.