FleetForce Truck Driving School finalized its market expansion totaling six new FleetForce programs in Florida, with testing and training set to begin as early as March.
The new programs include the establishment of six new training sites in partnership with community colleges in Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Niceville, Daytona Beach, Ocala, and New Port Richey. FleetForce also has two other existing sites on the horizon at schools in Lake City and Gainesville, which are anticipated to launch this year.
Together, these training sites will be able to produce about 3,000 new truck drivers annually, addressing a growing industry need, and rescuing overwhelmed supply chains. Equally, the new locations represent an economic and job-opportunity boon to several communities throughout the state. Trainees who graduate with their CDL will be in high demand.
“Truck driving remains at the core of our country’s economic abilities, and we see evidence of the growing need for new drivers every day,” said FleetForce owner Tra Williams in a statement. “We’re excited to show what can be done to meet this tremendous need. Thanks to our new locations, there’ll soon be an influx of highly trained professional drivers on the road. That’s going to be a huge help to Florida industries, in addition to the U.S. supply chain and economy.”
A 2019 Truck Driver Shortage Analysis from the American Trucking Association noted an exponential growth shortage of Class A tractor-trailer drivers since 2016. Fewer than 10,000 new drivers were needed in 2011, while the shortage reached a record 60,800 in 2018.
Based on current trends, that same study projected that the industry will need 1.1 million new drivers in the next five years alone, due to industry growth, retirement, and natural attrition.
“Recruiting and retaining the next generation of professional truck drivers requires a paradigm shift — a change from the old model,” added Alix Miller, president and CEO of Florida Trucking Association. “The success of FleetForce is a direct reflection of improving accessibility, efficiency, and promoting a new image of trucking for students. And with these new locations opening around Florida, trucking companies will have more local access to new, well-trained talent, further bolstering our workforce and the economy of Florida.”
FleetForce students can go through training and earn their CDL in as little as four weeks. The company’s progressive business model and rapid expansion proves a solution for other states in the U.S. that are dealing with truck driver shortages.