Harbor Truck Driver Training Program Lauched by LBCC Workforce Development

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clean trucks program expandingThe Long Beach City College Workforce Development unit announced Wednesday, the launch of its new “Harbor Truck Driver Training Program”, developed in cooperation with the Harbor Trucking Association (HTA). Funded by a $440,000, 2-year grant from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and backed by over $450,000 in industry pledged commitments, this comprehensive train-to-work program will include the collaboration of HTA companies, drivers, and terminal operators at both the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, to directly address the region’s workforce shortage for licensed, short-haul truck drivers qualified to transport freight in and out of our local ports.

“This new program at LBCC is a win-win for everyone,” said Mayor Bob Foster. “Not only are we providing the necessary training for people to gain employment, but we’re also filling a shortage of drivers to ensure a continued flow of goods at the Port.”

“LBCC is proud to partner with the HTA and the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles on this important training program for the advanced transportation industry sector in our region,” said Lou Anne Bynum, Executive Vice President of Long Beach City College. “This new grant from the Chancellor’s office will directly assist in the creation of new jobs in the region.”

“This grant funding will help our industry attract and retain the drivers that we rely on to move goods”, said Fred Johring, President of the HTA. “We have been experiencing a shortage of qualified drivers and this grant ensures that we will be able to sustain the future of our industry. We thank Long Beach City College and Mayor Bob Foster for assisting us in this endeavor.”

With nearly 40% of all containerized cargo in the United States passing through the Long Beach and Los Angeles ports, many of the trucks used to move this freight are part of fleets that represent over 1,000 small business trucking companies. These companies have identified a startling workforce gap for short-haul truck drivers, with the region showing a drop of over 7,000 drivers in 2012. These declines are primarily due to new regulations from the Department of Homeland Security, which requires security clearance and screening of all persons accessing the Ports, along with those from the office of Compliance, Safety, and Accountability, whose federally funded program prohibits individuals with poor driving records from becoming truck drivers. With over 6,000 open positions currently posted statewide, the need for a skilled and licensed truck driver workforce continues to grow.

“This grant funding will help our industry attract and retain the drivers that we rely on to move goods,” said Fred Johring, President of the HTA. “We have been experiencing a shortage of qualified drivers and this grant ensures that we will be able to sustain the future of our industry. We thank Long Beach City College and Mayor Bob Foster for assisting us in this endeavor.”

To address this workforce gap, HTA President Fred Johring approached Long Beach City College to design a new model of training, recruiting, and professionalizing the industry to encourage a steady stream of new workforce entrants. The Harbor Trucking Association has approximately 125 members that include Licensed Motor Carriers, truck operators, warehousemen, and other logistics providers.

During its 24-month pilot launch, the Harbor Truck Driver Training Program will train and certify a minimum of 100 new drivers and targets an 80% employment rate for all program completes.

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