Truck driving school opens in Columbus

COLUMBUS, GA (WXTX) – Tamara Faison is not your average truck driver. She is over 5 feet tall and would top 100 pounds soaking wet. But that isn't stopping her from getting her truck driving license.

"They are getting more female drivers and it's just challenging, it gives us a chance to get out there on the road do some driving and show men that women can do everything that they can do," Tamara said.

Tamara, a mother of two, turned to Brad Barber and the driving instructors at the Georgia driving academy to help her achieve her goal of one day owning her own truck. Barber has been in the driving business for nearly twenty years. His first school in Conyers, Georgia sees about 200 students comes in a month but that wasn't the case just two years ago.

In 2008, the demand for drivers stopped when the economy tanked. Brad told us that in June of 2010, the turnover rate for truck drivers dipped to 38 percents the lowest Barber has ever seen.  A year later that number according to Barber has gone up, topping out at 98 percents turnover in June 2011.

"There is a high demand for drivers so you see and estimate somewhere from 100,000 driver shortage up to 200,000 driver shortage."

In order to qualify for the program in Columbus, you have to be at least 21 years of age, have a valid driver's license, god employment history and driving record, and a criminal background check.

For Army Veteran Steven Hadley, it's a chance to put his Army trade and training to work. After his tour in Iraq he's now doing what he loves state side, as a truck driver.

"Nothing happens until it moves which means anything and everything has to go on the back of a truck to get to the consumer on its shelf,: Hadley said.

For Tamara Faison, delivering goods means a job, food the table for her two children, and maybe a long career.

"My kids they know they will have an income and a way that they are taken care of without me going home saying I've been laid off," Faison said.

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