ODESSA, Texas — It is no secret that truck drivers with a commercial driver’s license are needed in Midland and Odessa, and there is now a new avenue to obtain the license in West Texas.
The organization is called CDL Rapido, and it is certified by the Texas Workforce Commission. They just opened up services in Odessa at 876 North Moss Avenue, and it will provide more opportunities to fill jobs in the Permian Basin.
Midland College says it currently has nine students in its truck driving program, while Odessa College says it trains 12-15 students at a time in its truck driving program.
With that being the case, truck drivers are still in demand for oil and gas companies here in the Permian Basin.
“There’s a great need for truck drivers in this area," said David Barker, General Partner and CEO of Eagle Fuel & Oil. "You see signs all over [the] Midland-Odessa area for CDL-required drivers, mostly with HazMat and tanker endorsements are what our needs are, and those can be difficult to find in this area. It’s very competitive and a lot of need for those kind of drivers.”
CDL Rapido is an organization based out of El Paso that has now made its way to Odessa as well, and it has just begun to provide its instruction to the area with the timeline from start to finish at about five weeks.
“We’re going to take the students through theory, which is classroom," said Donny Hernandez, Owner of CDL Rapido. "Pre-trip, which is probably one of the most important parts of your CDL training because it teaches you what to look for, make sure your truck is safe to take out on the road, and then we’re going to take them through maneuvers and driving and on to take the test.”
With another opportunity now available for people to receive their CDL license, it appears that this could be a boon for West Texas.
“I think that’s a great idea," said Barker. "Just I know that they have job fairs that a lot of the companies go to at the colleges to try to recruit these people coming out, so having an additional resource to get these drivers will definitely benefit this area.”
While Barker says that recruitment and retention is a challenge in acquiring qualified truck drivers, perhaps Hernandez’s program will help increase a more homegrown workforce. For more information on the pricing and education, you can go to cdlrapido.com or call 432-888-6585.