Nearly 30 employers — all seeking commercial truck drivers and support workers for logistics operations — are participating in the job fair being hosted this Wednesday, May 1, by the Manteca Adult School.
The job fair takes place from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the district office, 2271 Louise Ave.
The second annual job fair is open to the public. Manteca Unified will also be providing transportation for high school seniors from the Manteca, East Union, Sierra, Lathrop, Weston Ranch, Calla, and New Vision campuses to attend the job fair. The high demand for workers makes it possible for seniors who graduate in four weeks to have employment within days of securing their diploma.
The job fair and a more robust effort to make students employable upon graduation as well as more targeted vocational education for adults seeking to switch jobs is part of an ongoing effort by Manteca Unified to align classroom education with the demands of the local and regional labor market.
The growing Manteca Unified emphasis on trucking and logistics support job training is underscored by federal Bureau of Economic Analysis statistics that indicates San Joaquin County is No. 2 nationally for the percentage of overall jobs in the local labor market in the transportation and warehouse sector. Overall 34,202 jobs — or 10.4 percent of all of those employed in the county — are in transportation and warehousing. That is only topped by Laredo, Texas at 14.3 percent.
“We have the opportunities here, the labor force is here, and it is our job as an adult school is to leverage our resources to meet the needs of the community,” Manteca Adult School Principal Diane Medeiros said. “Manteca Adult School is excited to be working with the Delta Sierra Adult Educational Alliance, Manteca Unified School District, local employers, and community agencies to build a program to meet the needs of both our students and employers.”
A study this month released by the Center for Business and Policy Research at the University of the Pacific that was prepared for the San Joaquin Council of Governments analyzed warehousing, e-commerce, and evolving trade patterns.
The report showed in 2018 that San Joaquin County employers posted:
*4,264 jobs for tractor-trailer truck drivers that had a median salary of $59,000.
*1,558 jobs for laborer/warehouse workers that had a median salary of $26,000.
*567 jobs for forklift/pallet jack operator workers that had a median salary of $28,000.
*488 jobs for light truck delivery drivers that had a median salary of $31,000.
*95 jobs for packagers that had a median salary of $23,000.
Median salary, by definition, is the wage in the middle. The median wage is typically less than the average wage.
Given the high demand for trucking created not just by the number of new distribution centers but the fact many drivers are nearing retirement prompted Manteca Adult School to add a class needed for commercial driving permit preparation.
You can still enroll today in the next session that starts tonight and is Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:30 to 9 p.m. The fee is $150. Scholarships are available. For more information call the adult school at (209) 858-7330.
The class was created in partnership with Manteca Adult School’s local trucking operation partners. The course provides entry-level truck driver preparation enabling learners to secure a California Driver’s License permit leading to field training and behind-the-wheel training with a local truck driving school. Classroom instruction includes Department of Transportation safety rules and regulations, state regulations, logbooks, pre-operation safety checks and defensive driving practices. The class emphasizes safety and customer service, an overview of local job opportunities and match successful candidates with jobs.
Tractor-trailer truck driver jobs are expected to grow by 11.9 percent through 2026 with almost all of those being jobs where the driver returns home every night.
Manteca Adult School offers stackable certificates for other jobs in the logistics sector to allow community members to acquire skills in steps as they move through job opportunities. This allows students to acquire a job immediately and continue to improve as they advance.
Among the employers at Wednesday’s job fair will be Delicato Winery, JB Hunt, Pratt Industries, BR Funstein, Terrill Transportation, Mountain Valley Express, AC Trucking, Oak Harbor Freight Lines, Western Truck Center, XPO Logistics, and Allen Logistics among others.
Educational resources as well such as the CHP and the California Trucking Association will be also on hand.
This is the second annual job fair Manteca Adult School has conducted for the logistics industry. They plan to hold one every spring.
“We established a successful round table committee last year to establish a career pathway,” Medeiros said. “This on-going work will continue to evaluate and support programming allowing community members to acquire the necessary skills.
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