Grants to train truck drivers dry up

      EUGENE, Ore. - Truck drivers are one of the most in-demand employees in the state - and some of the hardest jobs to fill, according to the Oregon Employment Department.

      Despite the high demand, Don Edwards with IITR trucking school said their classrooms are virtually empty.

      A class that should have 9 people in it now only has 3.

      He said tuition costs about $5,000 for a 4-week training course. He said without the Workforce Investment Grant, many students struggle to pay the fee.

      The Workforce Investment Act is a federal grant allocated to the state, Edwards said. The money has been dropping substantially in the last four years, he said.

      According to Edwards, in the past Oregon Employment Worksource Lane would help an upwards of 30 students a year get this grant in order to enroll in truck school. He said last year, only two students received the grant.