First it was shipping, now trucking
On September 15, Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis announced a new initiative intended to tackle the supply chain issues that continue to plague America - with an $8.2 million investment to train over 3,500 new truck drivers in Florida each year.
The money will assist 5 state colleges in training students and equipping them to achieve their Commercial Drivers License (CDL) which allows them to drive trucks and transport freight around the United States.
Florida solving a national problem
At the end of 2021, the American Truckers Association estimated that there was a shortage of up to 80,000 truck drivers across the United States, which has continued to cause issues for the shipping and logistics industries throughout this year.
While global supply chains have struggled to recover to pre-pandemic capacity, the issue has been compounded by the shortage of truck drivers to transport goods around the U.S. once they have been landed at American ports.
The investment announced by Governor DeSantis on September 15, to train more drivers in Florida state colleges will help to alleviate the issue in the longer term, as well as giving Floridians another option for education that will lead to a meaningful and useful career.
"Get on the road in a new career"
Commenting on the new training program, Florida's Education Commissioner Manny Diaz pointed to the merits of new vocational training options for Floridians:
“We already know that a traditional university path is not for every student, and thanks to the leadership of Governor DeSantis, students now have a variety of options to get on the road in a new career.”
“With the Governor’s continued support, our state colleges are perfectly positioned to meet industry demand and advance Florida’s economic independence and prosperity.”
Florida solving national supply chain issues
The investment in training of new truck drivers will build upon other initiatives sponsored by Governor DeSantis and his leadership this year.
In March of this year, Sea Lead Shipping Pte Ltd announced that it was moving its operations from ports in California, to Florida. This came after many months of congestion that saw tens of cargo ships moored off the California coast with no capacity in ports to offload cargo. Florida welcomed this move, offering a number of deep-water ports within which such ships can now dock without delay.
More recently, a ten-year project to deepen JaxPort in Jacksonville, Florida completed meaning that the port can now handle the largest container ships that transport goods into the U.S. from Asia.
The combination of these initiatives should mean that Florida is ideally positioned to strengthen its status as a national hub for the handling of cargo, while also ensuring that Floridians don't have to suffer supply chain shortages quite as much as before.
Would you consider training to become a truck driver given the recent investment in driver training? Do you continue to see evidence of supply chain issues and shortages in your local area? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.