School Teacher Solves National Truck Driver Shortage To Create Career Paths For High School Students

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A California high school offered a truck driving course with the aim to help solve the problem of truck driver shortage in the U.S.   

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            Patterson High School, a senior high school in California, is situated not very far from a large number of factories and warehouses.  The school director, Dr. Phillip Alfano, perceived an opportunity vis-à-vis personnel development leading to an access to these companies.  He proceeded to set up a course in logistics and supply chain management followed by a truck driving course for senior high school students in 2016 – the first ever in the U.S.  – initiated by Dave Dein, a grade teacher from nearby school and former truck driver with a 700,000-mile outstanding track record, i.e., a resume of zero road accidents and traffic violation tickets.

Dave Dein played a key role in the initiation of the course.  Following the resignation as truck driver, he became a grade teacher and spent his free holiday time on social work by setting up Faith Logistics, a truck driving school for new-released inmates free of charge.  That make him a truly passionate truck driving teacher.

Dave Dein (first on the left) with students of Patterson High School

            The objective of the course is to support students without exceptional academic records with an opportunity to become successful in life.  Each class has no more than eight students to ensure that each has sufficient hands-on experience with the truck driving simulator that replicates real world driving conditions.  Students first learn basic lessons such as pre-trip truck inspection, route planning, driving time and rest period management and trip report, among others.  The entire course covers 180 hours, comprising 80 hours in the classroom and 100 hours of practical training that includes 20 hours of hands-on simulator training where students gain experience in various conditions such as handling a flat tire or a blow-out and being faced with natural disasters including fuel-efficient driving.  These lessons prove to effectively enhance students’ skill.

Lessons on pre-trip inspection prove rather difficult for those lacking knowledge of the subject.  Thus, learning takes quite a long time.  Dein and his team finally came up with a simple software developed to enable students to study various components of the truck at home.  As a result, teaching has taken much less time.

Besides, the school has collaborated with Worklete, the company that provides work safety training, to give lessons on safe driving ranges, how to open and close the hood and trunk, how to get in and out and many other topics.  To ensure capable and abling graduates, aside from skills, the curricula gives priority to the study of real world logistics practices that incorporate technologies that will soon play a role in trucking industry, as well. Upon graduation, students can work as trainees and temporary truck drivers with Morning Star Company, an ally of the school, transporting tomatoes during high season, which enables the students to have decent income and sufficient fund to further their studies at university level.  They can also enroll in adult education courses whereby regional education authority can help contact local driving schools for them.   Moreover, Dave Dein has set up a Faith Logistics Fund to provide Patterson graduates with scholarships for enrolment in advanced logistics courses.

The school hopes to be a model for other schools nationwide with the aim to help solve the problem of truck driver shortage as well as create a good image for the profession.  It also plans to expand to primary and junior high schools.

Compiles by BLOG.SCGLogistics

Reference and picture credits: supplychain247.com, goldenstatenewspapers.com, mhlnews.com, freepik.com

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