By Sylvia Gonzalez
ODESSA - The percentage of individuals wanting to get their CDL license has increased in the last two years. A career once dominated by men has become an open field to anyone wanting to take advantage of it.
"It's amazing what you all have. All walks of life that come in here you would never think that a doctor or a nurse or attorney never, but they are," Jenkins said.
The demand for CDL drivers has spiked in recent years in the Basin. For many oilfield related jobs, having a CDL is a must. Jenkins says that there are plenty of local companies seeking potential commercial drivers.
"Within the last two years, the demand has increased triple fold from what it was. I've been here at OC for 12 years and throughout the years it has fluctuated, there's so many local companies needing drivers it's unreal," Jenkins said.
If you think this profession is only attracting men, think again. According to Jenkins, more women are looking to become commercial drivers.
"A lot of women are jumping on board. Alot of the women coming in are single parents raising their children and this is a way they can go into a business where they'll be getting paid the same amount as a man and they are willing to work as a man to make the money that's out there, and believe me, the money is out there," Jenkins said.
Jessica Venegas lives in McCamey and she makes the long drive every morning to Odessa in hopes to one day get her CDL.
"I think a woman can do anything a man can, if she just tries as hard and doubles her effort," Venegas said.
According to Jenkins, no matter what type of economy we're in, there will a always be a need for a big rig driver.
"The country needs the American trucker. Without the American trucker, the Country stops just like that. Within seven days, it's done because no matter what, they can ship things out of a railroad to a certain point, but that stuff has to come out of a railroad car and it has to be put on a truck to be delivered," Jenkins said.
Truck Driving Student Derrick Burton has a message for anyone second guessing themselves in getting a CDL.