There’s a bright spot to the dim national jobs outlook on that long Amarillo highway. The Truck Driving Academy at Amarillo College’s East Campus can prepare students for a career that pays from $30,000 to $40,000 a year to start and potentially much more down the line, program director Robert Matthews said.
The trucking industry is experiencing a nationwide labor shortage that Freight Transportation Research Association analysts said could reach 800,000 positions by 2014, according to the Commercial Carriers Journal, a trade publication.
“I think it’s just going to get worse for us,” said Rusty Dillon, manager of Groendyke Transport’s Amarillo terminal at 10201 Triangle Drive. “There’s just not anybody that wants to drive a truck anymore.”Groendyke, based in Enid, Okla., is one of the largest tank-truck carriers in the nation, according to the company’s website. Its drivers haul chemicals, petroleum and bulk products across the country.