More women stepping into the trucking industry

Posted at 12:34 PM, May 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-19 20:31:50-04

With a desperate need for drivers in the trucking industry, women could help fill the jobs. 

Tanya Perry is one of two female drivers at Valley Transfer in Ashwaubenon. She wanted to get into trucking because of the good pay. She works as a local driver, meaning she's home almost every night. 

"You do have to do some manual labor, but it's nothing a woman couldn't do," she said.

She's helping to fill a huge need in the industry. Nationally, the trucking industry could use about 50,000 more drivers.

At Valley Transfer, Chief Operating Officer Dean Raasch said the company could use at least 8 right away.

"To say that it's desperate is almost an understatement sometimes," he said. "The industry as a whole is short thousands and thousands of drivers."

At Fox Valley Technical College, the truck driving training program has had more women enroll in recent years. In the past, women made up about 5% of each class, according to Department Chair and Instructor John Mueller. Now, it's up to 10-15%. 

There are also new technologies in the industry that make it easier for both men and women, like automatic transitions, Mueller said.

Recently, a female graduate of Fox Valley Tech was named the national Rookie of the Year for truck driving.

"That was pretty big for her and for the industry," Mueller said. 

The program at Fox Valley Tech has a 98% job placement rate for those students who do not come in with a job already lined up.