WILLISTON, N.D. – Over the last few months, the shortages of qualified and experienced truck drivers have created significant issues in the distribution of goods, impacting supply chains for businesses across the country. This issue hit home with the closure of two major milk distributors in North Dakota: Lakeview Dairy and Red River Dairy.
On Jan. 25, 2022, Governor Doug Burgum announced waiving part of the U.S. Department of Transportation's regulations concerning how many hours drivers of commercial vehicles transporting milk can work. This order comes weeks after the Executive Order doing the same for propane transporters as part of a state of emergency on supply distribution of the gas.
Dickinson State University (DSU), as part of its expanded Dual Mission, began offering quarterly CDL courses in Dickinson during the fall of 2020 in partnership with Williston State College (WSC) and TrainND Northwest. New federal requirements have pushed DSU and WSC to expand the trainings to include high center of gravity and liquid transportation training for students, filling critical needs in Southwest North Dakota, the state, and the nation.
“This is where I'm hopeful our partnership with DSU will really shine, and we will be able to help each other with the all-important task of finding future CDL drivers to help the state of North Dakota get back to running as it should,” shared Kenley Nebeker, regional director for technical programs and training at TrainND Northwest. “We hope to ramp up from bimonthly trainings in Dickinson, to monthly trainings at DSU.”
Chip Poland, chair of the Department of Agricultural and Technical Studies—which houses the CDL program—stated, “As a huge milk consumer, things are starting to hit home . . . however, this also highlights the impact of a shortage of CDL holders and the impact of the new training requirements. Expanding training opportunities will be important for DSU to fill these gaps.”
The next open spots for CDL training in Williston and DSU are Feb. 28, 2022. There are also limited openings starting in March for Williston, Dickinson, and Minot. Interested individuals should visit https://willistonstate.augusoft.net/ or contact Kenley Nebeker at firstname.lastname@example.org or 701-713-3780.