The shortage of truck drivers is being felt across the country— the American Trucking Association puts the shortage at 50,000 today and getting much worse in the near term.
Where are all the drivers? There are 21,814 Vermonters with a Class A or Class B Commercial Driver’s License, but only 1200 of these drivers (less than 6%) have a Hazardous Materials Endorsement.
In Vermont, with an unemployment rate of 2.8% and zero population growth, the shortage is not easily fixed. That’s why nearly a dozen heating fuel dealers met on Wednesday with employers that have a higher demand for drivers in the summer. Representatives from the Department of Labor, Department of Motor Vehicles and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) also helped lead the discussion. After talking through the possible benefits and challenges of swapping seasonal drivers between industries, VFDA and the Associated General Contractors agreed to develop an online clearinghouse of information where employers and CDL operators can post information and learn about opportunities.