Trucking Jobs on the rise

Fresno, CA One industry where demand is rising is the truck-driving business. We spoke to the owner of one local truck driving school who's seeing more students from all walks of life, ready to hit the road.

Alfredo Arceo was laid off from his construction job a month ago, and decided this was the perfect time to try something new.

Alfresno Arceo, Truck driving student said: "Since I was a little boy I wanted to drive a truck, but I didn't have the chance so I got laid off and I had the money so I came to this school."

He signed up for a six week course at "Advanced Truck Driving School". But first he did his homework, checking the internet to see if his 1,900 dollar investment would pay off.

Alfresno Arceo said: "I saw that a lot of companies they are hiring for truck drivers, and there is more jobs for truck drivers than construction or stuff like that."

The school said interest has been high in the past several months.

David Bither, Advanced Career Institute said: "Its typically an industry that's first to feel it when the economy slows down but it's also the first to feel it when things start picking back up".

Since January of this year they've seen an increase of 20-25%. And David Bither said many of their students come from white collars jobs, which are looking for immediate work and stability.

David Bither said: "The reason that they come to school here is not just to get a license, its to be able to get placed and to get a job. We are really able to make a difference."

Steven Gutierrez with the employment development department is not surprised by the job growth in the trucking business.

He said most areas related to agriculture see a spike in the summer, but overall, unemployment numbers in Fresno County don't reflect a significant growth in any industry.

Steven Gutierrez, EDD, Labor Market Consultant said: "You're seeing shifts there but not necessarily growth where they are adding a whole lot of jobs."

Back at advanced truck driving school, student Michael Blank, unemployed since February, hopes what he's learning will help him land a job, and give him the upper hand next time times get rough.

Michael Blank, Truck driving student said: "There are so many people that are unemployed that the competition is very tight and people are doing whatever they can to have more skills and qualifications under their belt."

The driving school said they have also seen an increase in female drivers, and a 20% increase in their school bus driving and welding programs.

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