Grappling with a driver shortage, over-the-road trucking companies for years have been offering to help inexperienced candidates obtain training and the required commercial driver’s license, or CDL.
The city’s bus system, IndyGo, is also about to help promising candidates get a CDL, as a way to improve driver recruitment.
CDL training, which could otherwise cost well upwards of $500, will be paid by the bus service for those selected who pass all pre-employment tests and agree to a one-year contract.
Currently, IndyGo recruits individuals with commercial driving experience and a CDL to enter its eight-week training academy.
But with the need for 40 to 50 additional drivers, thanks to a route expansion for 2013, IndyGo wants to eliminate a barrier to those without commercial licenses who could nevertheless be excellent hires.
While you can teach someone to drive a bus, you can’t necessarily teach customer-service skills to those who aren’t wired that way. IndyGo doesn’t want a grumpy Gus behind the wheel of a Gillig low-floor bus.
IndyGo is finalizing arrangements with a CDL school, but “people can apply now,” said Bryan Luellen, manager of marketing at IndyGo.
The hiring process can take six weeks and the eight-week training academy includes about three weeks of on-the-bus training.
After four years at IndyGo, a “professional coach operator” as they say in the transit industry, can earn potentially $19.40 an hour. IndyGo also touts access to a free health clinic among employee benefits.•