A Waukesha County
Technical College truck-driving student practices skills
at the college’s training course.
PEWAUKEE - When a
majority of students consider studying for a technical
career after college, it can often be in a well-known
area like automotive technology or welding. These
students likely aren't aware of an industry that is
facing a major shortage and can gain them employment in
minimal time. Across the country, the demand for truck
drivers is at an all-time high, and Waukesha County
Technical College hopes to make sure its students are
aware of the opportunity.
"Just in the
area, there can be anywhere between 5 and 10 job offers
for a student in the program," said Mike Shiels, Dean of
applied technologies at WCTC.
He explained that
a few changes have led to the more than 300,000 open
truck positions that are available country-wide. For
one, recent federal regulations now limit how much a
driver can travel at a time. More than 80 percent of
U.S. communities depend solely on trucks for delivery of
Shiels says that
the common image people have of a truck driver is no
"So many people,
when they think of a career in truck driving, they think
of a life on the roads where they're only home for the
weekends," said Shiels. "Things have changed a lot. Now,
you can be home every afternoon."
students and community members will have the change to
see just how much things have changed at a
meet-and-greet event. Attendees will have the chance to
explore trucking employment, benefits within the
industry, network directly with employers and sign up
program comes to a total 384 hours of experience.
Students begin learning how to drive on a simulator, and
then move to a controlled course.
"We can simulate
driving in the rain and driving in the snow," said
Shiels. "The students really have a comprehensive take
in learning how to shift and drive."
WCTC has 20
tractors and trailers for the program. Shiels says it is
important to make sure students learning to drive do so
in a safe, controlled environment until they are
confident enough to take a truck on the roads. Thinking
about safety is one of the main characteristics that
makes a successful truck driver.
"You have to be
real safety-conscious to drive a big vehicle and
confident enough to do so," said Shiels.
truck driving classes offer certification in 10, 12 and
16-week formats. There are about 150-200 students who
complete the course each year. The meet and greet event
is scheduled for Tuesday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the
Service Building Gymnasium, 800 Main St., Pewaukee.
information on the truck driving program, visit