Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- With the unemployment rate struggling at eight percent, it’s difficult to find a job. Right now, 12-million Americans are unemployed. However, the trucking industry is looking to fill hundreds of thousands of jobs.
As a new truck driver, Justin Zelias may be on the road toward a long, successful career.
“You get an office with a view. You get to see stuff,” Zelias said. “It's nice you can get right out of school and find a job. As soon as you're out of you're training school like NTTS, you can go straight to work.”
Gypsum Express is one of the many trucking companies that need drivers. It’s looking to fill 180 jobs. About two dozen of them are in Baldwinsville.
At the time of orientation, new hires will have already gone through lots of training and earned their commercial driver’s license. Before new drivers hit the road they’ll need to complete 500 hours of training behind the wheel.
"In today's day and age, truck drivers are more high-tech. They have to deal with computers inside of the truck, the electronic engines, the way the trucks are driven. It's all satellite based,” explained Gypsum Express’, Dennis Plucinik.
As the job continues to change, the trucking industry is on track for a 20 percent growth in the next few years. Some say that’s a sign the rest of the economy is picking up too.
"Without trucks, the economy just sort of stops,” Zelias said.
This is just the beginning for Zelias, who plans to spend years keeping his career and the economy moving.
The average truck driver just starting out earns $38,000 per year. That’s $4,000 more than the median wage for all jobs.