Truck Driver Job Assessment Offers
Roadmap To Successful Career
West Memphis, Arkansas- Calvin Graham, 43, of West Memphis, Arkansas was in between jobs and thinking of pursuing a trucking career when he ran an online search for truck driver training schools. He quickly discovered a link to the Rapid Road to Recovery Project (www.onestop.org) that offered free training for Arkansas residents who meet eligibility requirements.
The RRTRP, a joint effort of the U.S. Department of Labor and the Arkansas Delta Workforce Innovations in Regional Economic Development (ADWIRED) initiative, assists Hurricane Katrina victims, U.S. Armed Services veterans and Arkansas residents seeking to improve their lives through training and employment opportunities in the trucking industry.
An RRTRP representative asked Mr. Graham to complete an online truck driver assessment developed by JOBehaviors, headquartered in Gig Harbor, Washington, to determine if he was a strong behavioral match for a trucking career. The JOBehaviors assessment is based on an in-depth job analysis with truck drivers who have found success and long-term fulfillment in the trucking industry. JOBehaviors provides online job-specific assessments in dozens of industries including transportation, banking, healthcare, construction, call centers, childcare and many others.
Mr. Graham’s score indicated he was a strong match for the job. He said, “The assessment played a big part in my decision to make trucking a career.” He added, “Knowing I was a good match for the job really gave me more drive to complete the program. I was looking for a better career and I found it. I’m even thinking about one day being an independent operator.” He continued, “The training I received from Roadmaster was excellent.”
He recently graduated from the Roadmaster driver-training program and is fielding several employment offers from trucking companies participating in the program.
Josh Keeler, 22, of Colt, Arkansas, another recent graduate of RRTRP training program who says the JOBehaviors assessment was “very informative and communicated what the job is all about.” He added, “I had thought about trucking for a while and when this opportunity came along I decided to give it a try.” Mr. Keeler is now a driver for Swift Transportation headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona.
“This unique program is a collaborative effort to provide workers with the skills needed to succeed in Arkansas’s ever-expanding transportation industry,” said Dr. Robert Gunter, Vice President for Workforce Technology at Mid South Community College. “Commercial truck driver training serves as the first step in a transportation career pathway which students can pursue by completing additional education and seeking other transportation related jobs.”
The RRRTP is a model program for the country with initial funds to train and place 150 new drivers. The program provides the initial pre-screening, screening, computer-based training, in-residence driving simulator training, road training, and job placement needed to earn a commercial driver’s license. Trainees receive comprehensive instruction, personal mentoring and a guaranteed job offer upon their successful graduation with a CDL (commercial driver’s license). Additional training offers an opportunity for advancement into occupations with increasing levels of responsibility and pay.
People interested in pursuing truck driver training are encouraged to contact the Arkansas Workforce Center in their area (www.onestop.org).
“Transportation is one of the fastest growing industries in the country and offers
some of the most flexible and potentially rewarding jobs,” said Dave Brady, Executive
Director of the Eastern Arkansas Workforce Investment Board. The EAWIB is one of
the strategic partners in the training project.
“Because of current critical shortages, the transportation industry offers exceptional opportunities nationwide,” Brady continued. “The Rapid Road to Recovery Training Project provides a model of how industry, education, and government can unite to respond to critical workforce requirements.”
Trainees complete the driver-training program in four to five weeks from enrollment.
Individual instruction and mentoring are emphasized throughout the training to ensure
that candidates who want to succeed will have every opportunity to do so.
Strategic partners in the training effort include the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board, the Eastern Arkansas Workforce Investment Board (EAWIB), and One-Stop Centers.
Industry partners include ABF Freight System Inc., Covenant, P.A.M. Transport, Stevens Transport, TransAm, USA Truck, Werner Enterprises, and YRC Worldwide Inc. Additional partners include Roadmaster Truck Drivers School and the Teamsters National Education and Training Fund.
In conjunction with the RRRTP initiative, MSCC and Roadmaster are working together on an apprenticeship program that provides an opportunity for skills enhancement. Apprentices will have up to two additional years of continuing education through related training to improve their understanding and performance and to explore additional pathways within the transportation industry.
The apprenticeship will link to Mid-South Community College through an articulation agreement set up with the Career Path Training Consortium. This will give the apprentice additional post-secondary education opportunities while RRRTP will provide an industry-based skills training experience. Apprentices will receive ongoing mentoring from industry professionals in addition to their advanced company training in related transportation subjects such as long haul, short haul, dockside handling, loading, logistics, and Hazmat.
“As a transportation and logistics hub, the Arkansas Delta region faces a critical need for talent development in all of these sectors,” Dr. Gunter said. “This project will greatly enhance the economy of our region while also helping people who are trying to improve their lives.”
Calvin Graham and Josh Keeler couldn’t agree more.
For more information on the Rapid Road to Recovery Training Project, call MSCC at (870) 733-6852, the local office of the Workforce Investment Board at (870) 733-0601, Roadmaster 1-866-467-8067 or JOBehaviors at 1-253-857-5687.