The FleetForce Truck Driving School is expanding, with six new programs in Florida, including locations in Fort Myers and New Port Richey.
FleetForce, which has facilities in Winter Haven, Palm City, Venice and on the Bradenton campus of State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, expects testing and training in the newest additions to begin in March. The new programs are set up in partnership with community colleges in Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Niceville, Daytona Beach, Ocala and New Port Richey. FleetForce is also anticipating to launch two more sites in Lake City and Gainesville later this year.
A press release states the programs will be capable of producing more than 3,000 new truck drivers each year.
“Truck driving remains at the core of our country’s economic abilities, and we see evidence of the growing need for new drivers every day,” FleetForce owner Tra Williams says in the release. “We’re excited to show what can be done to meet this tremendous need. Thanks to our new locations, there’ll soon be an influx of highly trained professional drivers on the road.
“That’s going to be a huge help to Florida industries, in addition to the U.S. supply chain and economy.”
A 2019 study by the American Trucking Association showed that the trucking industry was in need of roughly 60,800 drivers in 2018. The association also reported that on that trajectory, which was prior to the pandemic, the industry shortage could reach over 160,000 by 2028.
“Recruiting and retaining the next generation of professional truck drivers requires a paradigm shift—a change from the old model,” Alix Miller, president and CEO of Florida Trucking Association, says in the statement. “The success of FleetForce is a direct reflection of improving accessibility, efficiency, and promoting a new image of trucking for students. And with these new locations opening around Florida, trucking companies will have more local access to new, well-trained talent, further bolstering our workforce and the economy of Florida.”
Through the FleetForce program, students can earn their CDL in four weeks.