The House College & Workforce Development Committee held a work session on January 31 to discuss trucking and supply chain workforce shortages. Several speakers represented different educational training and oversight organizations related to truck driving education.
The United States is currently experiencing a shortage of more than 80,000 truck drivers, and 80 percent of Washington State’s communities depend on trucks as the only mode of transportation for their goods.
Community colleges and private vocational schools offer training programs to prepare students for obtaining their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL.) The Washington State Department of Licensing currently lists eight community college programs and over 50 private school locations in Washington State. The current shortage of instructors adds to the driver shortage as well.
Bruce Chapman, Executive Director of the Washington Aggregates & Concrete Association, stated that one of his member businesses would hire 30-plus drivers immediately. Still, there aren’t enough drivers to fill open positions. He added, “Sixty-eight percent of our members reported lost business because they simply don’t have enough drivers to get into trucks.”
Retailers continue to face supply chain challenges and the pipeline of drivers continues to be a top concern.