Truck Driver Labor Shortage Just One Issue Facing North Dakota Workforce

The trucking industry is facing many challenges nationally when it comes to recruiting and retaining truck drivers.

“There truly is a national crunch for CDL drivers,” says Cindy Sanford, Workforce Center Manager with Job Service ND’s Williston office. 

A national crunch that has impacted our own region. According to Job Service, there are more than 300 truck driving positions in McKenzie and Williams Counties. Many of those positions are tied to the fracking industry, but national companies are also on the hunt for more drivers. 

“UPS was here the other day. They needed, I think, five drivers just in this area. But they’re needed statewide,” says Sanford. 

And the demand for more truck drivers has led to a need for more instructors for CDL training programs.

“We’re looking for people that have driven truck before, have their CDL. So they have some experience, you know, if they got four years, six years under their belt,” says Jason Mathers, CDL program manager with TrainND. 

In addition to paying for training courses, many companies are offering bonuses to attract more applicants.

“If somebody gets a contract and they need X amount of people right away, that’s one way they’ve seen as a recruiting tool,” says Sanford. 

And though the trucking industry is facing a national labor shortage, it’s just one of many industries in North Dakota looking for a labor supply to meet the growing demand. 

In order to address the state’s workforce shortage, The Workforce Development Council and the Greater ND Chamber have partnered to conduct an employer survey. It will be open for two weeks and will ask employers to identify their most pressing workforce issues.

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