No stopping trucker demand
While the economy began to struggle in 2008, the demand for commercial drivers didn’t slow down.
The number of commercial driver’s licenses issued in Colorado during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2007, was 44,436. During fiscal 2008, 52,902 were issued, according to Colorado Department of Revenue spokesman Mark Couch.
People interested in obtaining a CDL can study with materials published by the Department of Motor Vehicles and available at driver’s license offices for free. Manuals also are available at http://www.colorado.gov.
There are multiple schools in the Grand Valley that offer courses for obtaining a CDL.
5 Star CDL Professional Training, 2591 B 3/4 Road, offers courses that last five to eight weeks.
Graduates who pass their tests can expect to earn $40,000 a year, said director LeRoy Arguello.
About half of his graduates work locally. Others drive national routes, which have them on the road for weeks at a time.
Arguello has contacts with national driving firms that will hire his students right out of school. He said most of his students come to the school for a change in careers.
“Most people come in wanting local jobs, but the competition is strict,” Arguello said.
Robb Henderson was a student at 5 Star and now drives for Grand Valley Vacuum Truck Service.
“For me, it was basically, the CDL is like a piece of gold, your opportunities,” Henderson said.
“Whether it’s from a boat, train or plane, it’s gotta come in on a truck.”
Henderson left an 18-year career in management to get his CDL. He took a 130-hour course at 5 Star, spending time in the classroom and behind the wheel.
“There’s a lot of competition for CDL schools, I’m very happy I went to LeRoy’s school,”
Henderson said. “I’d suggest it to anybody.
5 Star has about 75 people a month who take courses that certify them for about 90 percent of available jobs. It is also a third-party testing site, Arguello said.
“We are very busy and have a good reputation going,” Arguello said. “We haven’t slowed down yet.”
The Business Incubator Center has helped the company since it was started three years ago.
The center helps businesses by providing counseling and schooling.
5 Star is a certified technical college governed by the state of Colorado. Arguello encourages anyone who plans on getting a CDL to learn at a school how to become a professional driver.
“Coming to school is more important than having your uncle or father teach you,” Arguello said.