Program trains young garbage collectors amid US shortage

Photo: AP

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Like most boys, Corey Lever liked trucks and his favorite was always the garbage truck.

He loved to watch it roar down his Oakland, California, street.

After graduating from high school, he bounced between jobs. Then he heard about a new partnership between Waste Management of Alameda County Inc., Oakland Civicorps and unions that gives young adults – often high school dropouts from low-income communities – a chance to become teamster drivers after two years of training.

The job-training program comes at a good time for an industry struggling to find drivers. The American Trucking Association’s latest annual report says the nation was short roughly 48,000 drivers last year, with projections of a higher shortage in years to come.

Truck driver apprentices earn $20 an hour and after two years, they are eligible for union jobs.

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