The Economy

Sep 25, 2012 9:02 PM by Siera Santos, ssantos@koaa.com

More than 200,000 jobs available but no one wants them

Unemployment in Colorado Springs is at an 18-month high and across the country people are looking for work.

But there's one industry with 200,000 open jobs. It's just a matter of finding people to fill them. They're the lifeblood of America - truck drivers.

There are 1.5-million truck drivers on America's roads, but it's not enough. There's a huge shortage in the trucking industry. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics expects that number to go up by 20-percent by 2020, which equates to 330,00 jobs in eight years.

Major companies are constantly recruiting at places like the US Truck Driving School in Pueblo.

"We never, ever say: 'Well, this week we don't need any drivers so let's not hire any drivers.' Every single week we are looking to fill two to three trucks," says Mike Robertson, a recruiter with Schneider National.

You can earn $36,000 to $40,000 riding 18-wheels.

"Certain companies are offering sign-on bonuses, tuition reimbursement, great benefits as a way to attract people to the trucking industry," says Emily Clifton, director of the US Truck Driving School in Pueblo.

The reason why more people aren't getting the Commercial Drivers License and hitting the roads is because of the major lifestyle change. The turnover tends to be high and life on the road isn't appealing to everyone.

"It is a tough job. A lot of times you're out on the road for long periods of time. You're away from your family. You're sleeping in a truck the size of a double bunk," says Robertson.

The federal government has also become focused on keeping highways safe. Since 2010, it's become more difficult for drivers with blemished backgrounds to find work.

It's forcing some of the old school truckers out of the business, but opening doors for newcomers.

 

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