RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — A shortage of semi-truck drivers remains a problem nationwide, causing some shipping delays. In Rapid City, Western Dakota Technical Institute is trying to ease that crunch by continually certifying new truck drivers.
Recent Western Dakota Tech graduate and now truck driver, Ryan Mirrielees, says this course helped him get to where he is today.
“There were definitely some aspects of it that were challenging. But I am so happy I took the class because I learned a lot from it,” Mirrielees said.
The truck driving class here at Western Dakota Tech lasts about 5 weeks. Just recently 7 students graduated the course.
The Truck Driving Course consists of driving, inspections, and a Commercial Driver’s License test.
“Not only that but it showed to possible employers about how serious you are about driving trucks. It gives them more confidence knowing that this guy graduated from this class so he must know what he’s doing,” Mirrielees said.
“Taking the class gives you a jump start getting employed. The demand is so big right now and if you took the class you will probably be at the top of the class when looking at getting hired,” Banick said.
Program Director, Jay Banick, was a truck driver himself for over 30 years.
“We keep the bar pretty high here and we aren’t going to send them out without knowing what they need to know,” Banick said.
Western Dakota Tech has just started a bus driving course, which is another job that has a shortage of drivers.