According to the American Trucking Association, the 2021 truck driver shortage reached a historic demand of 80,000 drivers.
These opportunities aligned with Feeding Tampa Bay’s FRESHforce program that provides development and on-the-job training to individuals with barriers to employment.
In 2019, Feeding Tampa Bay created the FRESHforce truck driver training program. This 8-week training program educates students on a number of lessons including but not limited to:
– Delivering and receiving orders
– Loading and unloading orders with pallet jacks
– Trip reporting
– Vehicle inspection
– Operating procedures for Class B (box truck) driving
– Federal motor vehicle safety regulations
– Cargo handling
Students receive 320 hours of instruction (52 hours in the classroom and 268 hours of hands-on training and a stipend of $12 an hour (eight hours per day).
Participants who complete the program receive at least two certifications and a Class B license. FRESHforce has a 90 percent graduation rate.
Matt Spence, the Chief Programs Officer at Feeding Tampa Bay was quoted in a press release saying, “One of the best things we can do for the people we serve, beyond meeting that initial need of a meal on a plate, today is helping them create economic stability by improving their jobs.”