Local Small Business Owner Looks to Trucking for Pandemic-Proof Career


Like many small business owners in Missouri, Cassandra Wickerham felt the financial strain of the pandemic. Unable to open her doors for several months, she made the difficult decision to close her business permanently. Cassandra found herself searching for a pandemic-proof career. That’s when she learned about trucking.

Utilizing the Missouri SkillUp program, Cassandra received free CDL truck driver training from Mineral Area College and MTC Truck Driver Training in Park Hills, MO. She completed the 160-hour program in 4 weeks.

Training for a new career can be stressful and Cassandra was understandably nervous about taking the leap. However, she soon learned there was a lot of support to help her succeed. “All of it is a little overwhelming. I just tried to focus on one thing at a time. For example, I focused on the pre-trip and in-cab first. When I felt confident about that, I focused on maneuvers. The instructors were very helpful, they have different qualities that help students with different aspects of the training. I actually keep in touch with them.”

Upon graduation, Cassandra accepted a driving position the she enjoys with a local trucking company.

“I call my CDL my golden license,” she laughs.  “I got all of the additional endorsements. The more endorsements you have, the higher the pay. And I am home with my kid every night. There is a lot of flexibility with trucking. If you are willing to work, they will work you.”

Cassandra’s advice to other Missourians looking for a high-paying, pandemic-proof career is to consider trucking. “You have the capability to get a well-paying job right after training. And if you qualify for SkillUp, use it because it is free.”

To be eligible for the SkillUp grant you must be a Missouri resident with an active SNAP application.

Why is trucking Pandemic-Proof?

In addition to high pay, people are interested in trucking because it offers strong, steady work. At the height of the pandemic when much of America stopped, truck drivers kept working. Truck drivers kept store shelves stocked. Truck driver is currently one of the top ten in-demand jobs in the nation.

About our CDL Training Program?

Our program full-time, four-week program is designed for individuals with little or no commercial driving experience. The program includes: 40 hours of classroom training and 120 hours of yard and skills training. In addition, students will work with a career specialist to help them with job placement.

How to Get Started?

Complete an online application below. New classes start every week to fit busy schedules.


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