After the joking was done and we got serious about investigating the trucking industry, we really liked what we had found. It looked like we could make a very good living (if you don’t calculate it by the hour) 🙂
We live in Northern Colorado. I worked selling data to the mortgage backed securities trading desks on wall street, that career ended in late 2007, and my wife was an accounts payable/receivable clerk in the movie industry. she was on unemployment but I took a job that was 100% commission that did not work out so I lost mine. We did a lot of research and found out about Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funds for retraining. It is administered through the unemployment office and you do not have to be on unemployment to qualify. We had heard that most people were turned down so we prepared well.
We had a lot of information ready when we went in to the workforce center. They tried over and over again to tell us we did or could not qualify (for many reasons) but we had all of our research ready and we did not take no for an answer. Most CDL schools are 5k to 6k and WIA only pays $3500. We got approved in about three weeks by pushing for appointments and getting all of the paperwork and tests done fast. After getting approved we studied for, and got our CDL permits and then started school a week later. We first contacted Sage Technical Services for training but it was a 60 mile drive each way for us and gas money was tight. We did get Sage to agree to do the total class for the $3500 which included the permit and license fee. We then found United States Truck Driving School had reopened their location in Longmont CO which was less than 20 miles from our home and that they were also an approved company with the WIA program. We met with the recruiter and he agreed to match Sage’s offer. We completed the course in three weeks and got our CDL’s. The CDL testing day was very intense as our whole plan was on the line. Anne went first and I found out she passed as I was doing the pre-trip inspection test. Very happy but I felt a tiny bit of pressure to pass now. After being very smug about my backing abilities I blew up on blind side parallel parking and passed backing with zero points to spare. Funny now! I breezed through the drive test though. We had to wait to go to orientation at USX until we received our hard copy licenses. We used the time to study for and take the test for our HazMat endorsement.
VERY happy with the school but all six people in our class had tried to get WIA money and we were the only ones who were successful. It happened pretty quickly and we are very pleased with how it worked out. We would be happy to answer any questions anyone has if you are thinking of heading down this road..