Waste Pro USA Inc. has taken creative steps to address the nationwide shortage of big-rig jockeys.
With the nation’s supply-chain woes exacerbated by a previously existing shortage of commercial truck drivers, companies such as Winter Haven-based FleetForce Truck Driving School and now Waste Pro USA Inc. have driven forward with creative solutions.
Headquartered in Longwood, a Central Florida city north of Orlando, Waste Pro operates throughout Florida and 10 other states, serving more than two million residential and 100,000 commercial customers. To bolster its ranks of drivers and add more truckers, in general, to the workforce, it created a program that provides one-on-one commercial driver’s license training to any employee.
Dubbed the Co-Heart Program, it features the expertise of Robert Bourcheau, a state-approved CDL examiner and instructor who teaches skills such as advanced backing and rollover prevention. After 90 days of training, students take their CDL test at Waste Pro’s regional operations center in Sanford.
Founded in 2015, the program has put 400 CDL drivers on the road, according to a news release. “Many of us never thought we would ever get to 100 graduates when this program started, let alone 400,” Bourcheau states in the release. “No words can explain how proud the young men and women feel the second I get to tell them, ‘You passed.’”
Waste Pro, the release states, expects to exceed $900 million in gross revenue this year.