Yellow Corp. addresses ‘driver shortage’ by adding new CDL training academies

June 29, 2022

Ryan Witkowski


In a time when many carriers are struggling to attract new drivers, Yellow Corp. is taking matters into their own hands. On June 28, the Overland Park, Kan.-based LTL carrier announced the expansion of their company-sponsored driving academies with the addition of three new locations.

Yellow’s newest CDL training academies are located in Columbus, Ohio; Tracy, Calif.; and Maybrook, N.Y. The three sites are home to the company’s largest regional distributions centers.

The CDL training programs are tuition-free, which Yellow contends “makes the academies valuable for students and their local communities.” With the additional locations, the company now operates 20 tuition-free CDL driving academies across the United States.

Each of Yellow’s Driving Academies is certified as a Department of Labor apprenticeship program. This allows for paid on-the-job instruction for students while they prepare for a career in a new industry.

Students enrolled at the academy complete a 160-hour training program. Following the completion of that training, students spend an additional month with a Yellow certified safety trainer as they prepare to take the CDL skills test. After graduating and obtaining a CDL, qualified drivers are offered a position with the company.

Tamara Jalving, vice president of safety and talent acquisition at Yellow, said the company’s aggressive growth with training is in response to the perceived driver shortage.

“In the last year, we have opened eight new academies, with more scheduled to open later this year in other parts of the country,” Jalving said in a statement. “Training our own drivers is simply the best way to tackle the driver shortage in America.”

Estimated at 80,000 by the American Trucking Associations, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association says the alleged shortage of qualified drivers is a myth. The Association argues the industry is facing retention issues rather than a shortage of drivers. OOIDA contends that persistent issues within the industry – such as unpaid detention time, lack of safe parking, and lack of access to restrooms – have forced many qualified drivers out of trucking.

While the validity of a driver shortage could be debated, Yellow’s CDL academies could serve another important purpose. With a goal to train 1,000 new drivers in 2022, Darren Hawkins, CEO of Yellow, said in a statement that his company’s training facilities help to introduce the industry to a more diverse group.

“We plan to bring in new drivers and certainly more diverse candidates as we aim to train 1,000 new drivers this year,” Hawkins said. “We’re introducing a wider and broader audience to the trucking industry, not just recruiting talent from other trucking companies.”

More information on Yellow’s driving academies can be found here. LL

More business news is available on LandLine.Media.