SARATOGA — The need for Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) holders is growing exponentially across the United States. In response to the shortage of CDL Truck Drivers across our region, the Saratoga-Warren-Washington Workforce Development Board (SWW WDB), along with local trucking businesses, is hosting their first “Truck Rodeo” on September 24 to highlight the features and benefits of this career path. Organizations with truck fleets and CDL drivers interested in competing in the event are encouraged to participate. The event will take place at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The competition offers several categories of competitive vehicle classes to highlight the variety of fleets across the region, and to provide a realistic job preview of the roles and responsibilities of drivers. This event is open to all members of the public and will include a “Touch-a-Truck Corral” while representatives from the Workforce Development Board educate the community on the truck driving industry.
The modern truck driver is part of a transportation and logistics industry that moves materials across the region, state and country. E-commerce has been a catalyst for the high demand for drivers, and the pandemic has only exacerbated the worker shortage resulting in supply-chain shortfalls.
The American Trucking Association estimates that by 2028, America will need 160,000 additional drivers nationwide. The future of the industry depends upon attracting and retaining new drivers to this growing career field. Federal training dollars and other funding opportunities are available to help those seeking financial support to obtain either Class A or Class B commercial driver’s licenses. And, effective May of 2022, New York State has lowered the qualification age from 21 to 18 years old.