Local truck driving school opens to combat decline in truck driv - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Local truck driving school opens to combat decline in truck drivers

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PASCO, WA - Today was a big day for Martinez Trucking in Pasco. That's because they unveiled their brand new building for their truck driving school.

As reporter Jaclyn Selesky found out today, Martinez Trucking has been in the industry for 36 years, and they say there's been a drastic decline in qualified drivers just in the last few years.

"That's kind of what's driving this driving shortage is it's a lot harder to get your CDL these days than it was back in the day," said Stephen Martinez with Martinez Trucking.

Martinez is talking about the laws and regulations that changed in 2009. The Washington State Department of Licensing enforced applicants to have a total of 160 hours of training in the classroom and behind the wheel for a Class A license.

"It's really hard to find a qualified driver to drive around here," said Martinez.

Which is why Martinez Trucking unveiled their own CDL school today. They say they want to train drivers and not just for their own personal profit.

"It's something that we're just doing to help our industry out is to be able to fill our seats," Martinez said, "because if product doesn't move..."

On the plus side, there are so many jobs in the industry, because there are so many job openings.

"There's not enough truckers," said student truck driver Urial Garcia, "so there's so much work."