Olympic Career Training Institute (OCTI) has secured the state certification to provide Commercial Driver’s License Training (CDL), and began offering its first training classes in Memphis in August.
OCTI is a Department of Labor approved training provider that for the past eight years has provided vocational career training in the logistics and transportation industry and classroom instruction in which students acquire knowledge and skills to secure gainful employment.
The company currently offers certifications in Warehousing in the Supply Chain and OSHA Compliant Forklift Operation, and is ranked as the Mid-South’s number one training resource for logistics job opportunities.
With their new CDL training program, OCTI will expand its local impact on labor force development and job creation and is planning to train 500 CDL drivers over the next year to create over $25 million in new wages for unemployed and underemployed Shelby County residents.
“We are poised to fill a nationwide truck driver shortage and provide good-paying jobs across the Mid-South region to those who have the desire for this kind of work,” said Trey Carter, president of OCTI.
“Memphis has a high poverty rate and under-employment rate, and this CDL training program has huge potential to help improve on those statistics. We are very excited about the opportunity to help more residents gain employment, earn sustainable wages, and ultimately help spur economic growth in our city.”
According to the American Trucking Association, there is high demand for truck drivers in the U.S., with a shortage of 50,000 commercial truck drivers. Nationwide, logistics companies are responding to a growing need to meet higher demands of larger retailers. With Memphis being a distribution hub – arguably the largest distribution center in the country – the shortage impacts many of local businesses.
OCTI offered its first CDL four-week training session in Memphis in August with classes starting every Monday. There is no prior experience required for program eligibility, although applicants must be age 21 or older, hold a valid drivers license, and maintain a clean driving record. Salaries for CDL drivers start at $50,000 with benefits.
“We are grateful to be in a position to contribute positively to the advancement of Memphis and Shelby County,” Carter said. “We want to continue to be agents of change by making contributions to further our local economy and opening the door to additional job-training and employment opportunities for Memphians.”
(To learn more, go to www.octitraining.com.)