Truck Driving is Changing His Life!
Victor Morales was unemployed when he heard from his sister-in-law that Chemeketa was accepting applications to attend free CDL training. He had been working construction jobs but the work was spotty and slow. He immediately recognized a great opportunity – one that would prepare him with skills to enter a new career and life. If he had not received a grant for this training, he never would have been able to afford to attend.
Victor applied, and was accepted into the program. He started CDL training on November 3, 2022 and completed on December 3, 2022, the day he received his CDL. He proudly exclaimed, “I passed the first time!” According to Victor, he “…had no previous knowledge of trucks or how to drive them. I knew nothing on day one. My instructor, Patrick helped me learn all that I needed to be a successful truck driver.”
Upon graduation, he found it difficult to get a job because of his past driving record, and lack of truck driving experience. This did not stop him and he figured out a way to get some unpaid experience. His brother-in-law owns and drives a truck and Victor worked with him on the road for three months. During that time, he learned the practical aspects of driving a big rig and the rules of the road.
A little over two months ago, Victor learned that SPX Shippers (Shippers Preferred Express), located in Phoenix, Arizona, was hiring. He contacted them and was encouraged to apply in-person. He drove to Phoenix, met with the Safety Officer, took and passed a drug test and got the job! Since then he has been driving solo in 48 states. Although his home base is in Oregon and his family lives in California, he is thrilled to have this opportunity.
Victor especially likes being on the road and traveling to many different places. Last week he drove to Ohio, through Illinois and Wisconsin, and back to the West Coast. He likes the money too. Victor says, “It is hard work, but the money is good. I am away from home a lot, but this opportunity has put my family and me in a much better place. I am grateful to Chemeketa and Willamette Workforce Partnership for making this happen and recommend this program to others who want to change their lives.”
Congratulations to Nicholas and Victor and all graduates of Chemeketa’s CDL program!