PERRYSBURG, Ohio — With staffing shortages all over, CDL drivers are in high demand right now.
School districts, shipping companies, transportation and more all can't keep up with demand without drivers.
Mike Moscinski has owned Trainco Inc. Truck Driving School in Perrysburg for over 20 years. He says the pandemic has exacerbated the need for drivers that was already there.
"We are in a driver shortage and have been for many many years," he said.
He stressed the pandemic forced many older drivers into retirement earlier than expected.
"The baby boomers are coming out of the industry and we're not replacing them in the numbers that they're leaving," he added.
As the economy bounces back, production is ramping up and many industries can't keep up with demand, especially without enough drivers. Moscinski believes it's a great time to get into the business.
"Our wages are higher than they've ever been," he said. "And the benefit of getting in right now with such a low entry."
He offers two programs - one for manual transmission and one for automatic - that last around three weeks. They cost $3,500, which is something that is not lost on students.
Verdis Chears Jr. is a union construction worker who was looking to add to his credentials.
"I honestly feel like $3,500 for a program like this among professionals and people that are going to be able to give knowledge about something for the rest of your lives, I think it's a great investment," he said.
Nicole McDonnell lost her job during the pandemic and was recommended a job at FedEx by her friend. As soon as she saw salary figures with a CDL, she applied, got the job and was sent to Trainco to get her license.
She said you can change your life and career in a matter of weeks.
"I'm accomplishing something," McDonnell said. "I'm going to be making wonderful money. I'm so excited."
Moscinski stressed the relatively low investment to get your CDL leads to a big return in the long run.
"Three weeks of investment into your career and you're on the backside three weeks later making $50,000 to $60,000," he said. "That's a great turnaround."
Many companies are now offering sign-on bonuses and even paid training. So Moscinksi says there's no better time to get your CDL.