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Facing A Worker Shortage, Trucking Industry Pitches Itself To Younger Mainers

Heavy Trucks
Toby Talbot
Associated Press
FILE - This Oct. 19, 2011 file photo shows trucks traveling on Interstate 89 in Berlin, Vt.

Facing a workforce shortage, the Maine Motor Transport Association has launched an initiative aimed at recruiting young Mainers to work in the trucking industry.

The MTA is highlighting a career path that can earn upwards of $50,000 without a college education. Association president and CEO Brian Parke says getting a Commercial Driver's License, or CDL, also offers job stability and flexibility.

"Plus the skills and credentials that you learn can be transferrable in any state in the country. So if you decide you want to pick up surfing in California or raise cattle in Texas, your CDL is your meal ticket to wherever you want to go," he says.

Parke says nationally, there's a shortage of about 60,000 truck drivers which is expected to grow to 100,000 in a few years. That doesn't include technician positions.

Parke says many people don't realize the variety of positions available in transportation.

"We've got driver jobs for those that want adventure, maybe see the country. We've got local jobs for those that want to be home every night if they want to coach their kids' sports teams, then we've got technician jobs," he says.