Coastal Bend Girl Scouts Learn Trucking Becoming Growing Field for Women
Article by: Melinda Eddleman
According to the American Trucking Association, keeping up with industry growth means needing an additional 175,000 drivers by 2024. In Texas, truck driver is the number one occupation in demand.
For women, that demand means opportunity!
On Saturday, April 29, about 80 girls learned more about truck driving as a career opportunity during “Scouts in Trucking,” a learning and patch earning event hosted by the Del Mar College (DMC) Transportation Training Services program, Women In Trucking and Garcia Elementary Troop 96026 with Girl Scouts of Greater South Texas.
Lynette Cervantes, DMC Transportation Training instructor, knows firsthand about being in the business and helped organize “Scouts in Trucking” as a Women In Trucking member.
“As a professional woman driver who happens to own and operate my own rig, along with being the only female instructor with the College’s training program, I know personally that you are capable of doing any job you put your mind to as a woman,” said Cervantes.
“Scouts in Trucking” featured eight different activities to teach the girls different aspects of being in the industry. Cervantes and another professional female driver with Stevens Transport had their trucks present and spoke with participating Girl Scouts throughout the event. The College had other rigs available so participants could learn about the importance of a vehicle inspection, truck safety and distance.
Other activities included the Girl Scouts getting behind the wheel of a big rig in one of four simulators the College uses for professional training. They also colored and worked in a Women In Trucking activity book. When not learning about trucking, participants heard music played by Chicas Rock.
“All of the troops were really excited about the event as well as having the opportunity to earn the Women In Trucking patch,” said Brenda Crawley, leader of Garcia Elementary Troop 96026. “The program is only offered every two years with Women in Trucking providing the curriculum and the patch, so we’re truly grateful to have the opportunity to work with Del Mar College and their training program to provide our Girl Scouts with this hands-on learning experience.”
Founded in 2007, Women In Trucking is a non-profit organization focused on the transportation and logistics industry. Their mission is to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the industry.
“The entire trucking industry has changed considerably over the last 10 years, and companies have really embraced and encouraged women to enter our industry,” said John Rojas, DMC Transportation Training Services director. “I truly believe that when we added Lynette to our core of excellent instructors, we immediately had an increase in women attending our program.”
Rojas noted that this academic year, 47 females, or 13 percent of total enrollment, have graduated from the program. “Our rate aligns very closely with the latest national summary stating 16 percent of professional truck drivers are women,” he says.
Cervantes added, “’Scouts in Trucking’ is all about girl empowerment and enrichment and letting participants know there are many options open to them.”
At the end of the event, participants received a goody bag filled with donations from several sponsors. Most importantly, they all also got their Women In Trucking patch.
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Del Mar College empowers students to achieve their dreams. We offer quality programs, individual attention, outstanding instruction through faculty with real-world experience and affordable costs to credit and noncredit students in Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend area. Nationally recognized while locally focused, we’re ranked in the top two percent of community colleges in the country granting associate degrees to Hispanic students (Community College Week). Del Mar College focuses on offering our students programs that match current or emerging career opportunities. Whether students are interested in the fine arts, sciences, business, occupational or technical areas, students get the education they need for the future they want at Del Mar College.