Patterson High School in California introduced a supply chain and logistics program to senior students, offering truck driving certification upon graduation as well as other trade skills training.
"I think it really does open up a new door for us and it sets us up for success," program graduate Leilani Barradas told FOX Business’ Kelly O’Grady.
The truck driver shortage hit a record high with 80,000 positions needing to be filled, according to the American Trucking Association.
Prior to March 2020, it reported a shortage of 60,000 drivers.
Dave Dein, a teacher at Patterson and founder of the program, said he wanted to do something proactive amid the labor shortage, now exacerbated by a supply crunch.
"We started the program five years ago, really creating a sustainable long-term pipeline for the industry of well, young-trained talent," Dein explained.
Barradas said the program felt different from a traditional training school.
"We work with students to learn who they are as individuals, that way we know that we're sending out responsible drivers," she noted.
Dein turned the program into a nonprofit called the Next Generation in Trucking Association, with the goal to institute the same training in other U.S. high schools.
"It doesn't matter whether you're 18 or 35," Barradas said. "What matters is who taught you and what skills were kind of instilled in that."