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Working Iowa: Hawkeye Community College working to meet demand in trucking jobs

Published: Aug. 9, 2021 at 9:54 AM CDT
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WATERLOO, Iowa (KCRG) - By the year 2024, experts predict Iowa will need to fill at least 14-hundred truck driver positions. The Regional Transportation Training Center (RTTC) at Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo is working to get ahead of that demand.

“As the economy has gotten going again, there’s a lot being shipped and we need to be able to transport those and they need to have the employees that are qualified to drive the trucks,” said David Grunklee, the Dean of Applied Technology. “We just keep hearing from all of our employers, whether it’s through our advisory committees or just, in general, talking with them, that there are not enough skilled, trained employees right now for them to fill the needs that they have.”

Grunklee said students who enroll in the automotive and transportation programs will get an up-close, hands-on look at what they’ll face in those industries.

“They’re going to utilize the equipment and the tools the industry is using, so once they graduate, they’re ready to go,” he said.

The training center is holding an open house to showcase its automotive and transportation-related programs. It runs from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 12, at the training center on South Hammond Avenue in Waterloo. There will also be a chance to explore careers in highway construction, auto collision technologies and more.

There is financial help available, as well.

“With our six-week trucking driving program, we’ve got a grant called Trucking with the Troops,” said RTTC manager Celeste Turner. “So if you’re a spouse of a veteran, a veteran yourself, or even a child of the veteran, you can get the class paid for if you qualify.”

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