CLEARFIELD - If you are looking for a job, you may want to look into becoming a truck driver.
The Clearfield County Career and Technology Center has added three commercial truck driving courses to its truck driver training program.
"We want to give people more options. We are trying to meet the demand for truck drivers. There is a huge demand," said Julie Benamati, admissions recruiter. "People have different life situations. Some need to take classes in the evening. For some, a six-week program fits them better."
In addition to its eight-week Class A CDL daytime program, the school is offering a six-week Class A daytime program, a 10-week Class A evening program and a four-week Class B daytime program.
The Marcellus Shale gas and oil industry has impacted western and central Pennsylvania very highly, Benamati said.
"We used to get recruiters from all of the over-the-road trucking companies, but they rarely come here anymore. Most of the drivers are going to the Marcellus Shale companies," Benamati said. "What we are seeing are people with experience who are working at other jobs going to the gas and oil industry. They make more money and are able to spend more time at home."
The demand for drivers is at an all-time high, said Danielle Prebe, director of health, safety and environment for Shortfuse Gasfield Trucking Co. in Brisbin, a water provider for the Marcellus Shale industry.
"When I try to recruit drivers, I don't have the flow of applications that I had before. Because of Marcellus Shale, a lot of the good drivers get snatched up and are making a fantastic wage," Prebe said.
Benamati said the majority of the calls she receives are from people who are currently employed but want to change careers.
The classes are limited to six people and have a 3-to-1 student to instructor ratio. New classes start every month; costs range from $3,500 to $7,000.
"We are not here to make a fortune. We are here to educate. We have an excellent reputation for turning out good drivers," Benamati said.
Prospective students must have an acceptable driving record and pass a criminal background check and drug screening. They also need a commercial learner's permit.
For more information, call 765-3453 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.