Truck driver shortage prompts more women to enter industry

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PIQUA, OH (WDTN) –  More and more, women are getting behind the wheel in a male dominated truck driving industry.

Truck driving is one of the highest demand jobs in the Miami Valley, but companies are having a hard time filling those positions.  One Piqua driving academy is trying to change that.

Kimberly Kegley opened up Driver’s Edge CDL Training Academy earlier this year. It is the first female-owned truck driving school in Ohio.

“I started out as a school bus driver years ago and I had always thought about driving a tractor-trailer, so I just did it,” Kegley said.

Kegley obtained her CDL license 10 years ago and has driven through every state, except Alaska and Hawaii.  Now she’s encouraging others to join the industry by opening her own academy and partnering with Continental Express Inc., a truck driving company in Shelby, to help students with job placement.

“I really enjoyed helping others.  To see somebody come in here, you know, scrimping and trying to get into a different field or something and not making very much money.  With this field, 4 weeks and training, you know, you can be out there making almost $50,000 a year as a student,” Kegley said.

With a shortage of truck drivers, locally and nationally, the number of people who want to get behind the wheel to deliver America’s goods is declining.

Student drivers Sherry Wilson and Stephen Cave are just a few of the individuals enrolled in the CDL accelerated training program.

“My grandfather was a truck driver for years and my husband is now a truck driver so we’re going to team drive together husband and wife team,” Wilson said.

“Well, in industry that is in high demand. You never know what you’re going to get into until you get into the truck only then it’s a brand new world and all the adventures are down the road,” Cave said.

Soon they will be kings and queens of the road.

The academy is set to graduate the first group of women drivers the first week in August.

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