GREENSBORO, N.C. — Guilford Technical Community College is joining others in the state in training the next generation of truck drivers.

The college graduated its first class of 11 certified drivers in December.

The school planned to start the program in April of 2020, but pushed back the date because of coronavirus-related restrictions.

There’s a national shortage of between 75,000 to 100,000 truck drivers, and leaders say that number could grow even larger by 2028.

“Every company is looking for drivers,” says Van Staley, the program director and instructor. “I get calls everyday from companies wanting to come in and talk to the students about going to work, and sometimes you’ll have more recruiters coming than you have students, which is a sign that yes they are wanting people to drive.”

The truck driving program at GTSS is an 8-week, 320-hour course.

You can find more information about course enrollment here.

“To know I’ve got some job security, and to know that I’m contributing to the country during this time when truck drivers are needed and it’s a necessity to get products to the right place, that feels good to be a part of that," says Troy Singley, a recent graduate of the program.

In the Triangle, students can enroll in the diesel and heavy equipment technology program at Wake Tech in the fall or spring.

The online commercial driving training program at Sandhills Community College is a 6-month course.