COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — The trucking industry has been dealing with a driver shortage for a few years. To help close that gap, there has been a ush to recruit more minority truck drivers.
Carter Trucking Academy, located in Commerce City, Colorado, is trying to be one of those solutions to getting more minority truck drivers.
“Trucking has always been a white male-dominated industry,” said Shenika Carter, co-owner of Carter Truck Driving Academy. “So, I always go back to what does a trucker look like? And who is qualified?”
Carter Truck Driving Academy is trying to change all that by being the first Black-owned trucking school dedicated to recruiting more minorities.
“What me and my husband, Matthew, wanted to do is change the culture,” Shenika said. “We have two instructors that are Spanish speaking. One is from Mexico, the other Cuba. I have another instructor who is from Kenya. If you want more representation, then have instructors who look like that. Because that’s what we are dedicated to, I have been able to attract a diverse pool of candidates to work for our schools.”
According to a poll by statistics by Zippia, 84% of truck drivers are men; 64% are white, 16% are Hispanic and 13% are Black. With the truck driving shortage hitting an all-time high of 80,000 open positions back in 2021, Shenika and her husband viewed this as more of an opportunity to start their academy and help fill that gap.
Not only do they recruit from all over the country, but they are able to find their students jobs after they graduate in four weeks, and even give some students second chances and opportunities that other academies may not.
“Say if someone comes from California, and they can pay tuition but has no place to stay, me and my wife will take care of them,” Matthew said. “We would board them up, pay for their hotel while they get their CDL. It’s a blessing.”
Carter Truck Driving Academy hopes they can inspire more schools like theirs to adopt the same mentality in order to change the industry and lives of many.