The need to replenish employees in the trucking industry is a constant with more than 16,000 trucking companies located in North Carolina, which is why Surry Community College is offering a new Trucking Operations Management certificate in fall 2017.
North Carolina trucking companies employed 193,550 jobs in 2013 and paid out more than $8.6 billion in wages with the average worker in the state’s trucking industry earning a salary of $44,411, according to the North Carolina Trucking Association.
The Trucking Operations Management curriculum will prepare students for a multitude of career opportunities in distribution, transportation, warehousing, trucking operations, supply chain and manufacturing. Coursework includes international and domestic movement of goods from the raw material sources through production and ultimately to the consumer.
Local trucking companies support this effort saying they need qualified administrative employees.
“Educating in trucking should be expanded, and with the Trucking Operations Management program being offered at Surry Community College, we’re starting to see that happen. This area of North Carolina is heavily involved with the trucking industry, and I’m in support of seeing the program be a success in the years to come,” said Gary Harold, president of H & W Trucking Co. Inc.
Danny Sidden, human resources and safety director of Cooke Trucking Co. Inc., agreed.
“We need knowledgeable people to take the place of people who are retiring,” Sidden said. “We always have a need for quality people in the trucking industry whether it is drivers or management. The Trucking Operations Management certificate would open doors for people trying to get into the trucking industry.”
The Trucking Operations Management certificate requires 18 credit hours or six classes including: Business Law I, Introduction to Logistics, Operations of Trucking I and II, Fleet Management and Transportation Logistics.
The North Carolina Trucking Association pushed the N.C. Board of Community Colleges to create the Trucking Operations Management program, which was approved in December 2015.
“This is the bridge that can provide high school students an opportunity to enter the trucking industry,” North Carolina Trucking Association President Crystal Collins, said.
Shelia Martin, chairperson of Business Technologies at Surry Community College, is overseeing the new program and said several students have expressed interest in the certificate, but she would like to see more.
“I am excited about the opportunity the Trucking Operations Management certificate will offer students,” Martin said. “High school juniors and seniors can take these classes tuition free through the Career and College Promise dual enrollment program. This certificate is also a wonderful add-on credential for entry level employees already in the trucking or shipping industry.”
Graduates should qualify for positions in a wide range of supply chain and logistics positions in government agencies, manufacturing and service organizations. Employment opportunities include entry-level distribution, planning, material management, warehousing, inventory, transportation, trucking operations, international freight and logistics.