SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – With companies like Hostess, Campbell’s, and Comcast closing down, some workers are now applying for jobs for the first time in decades.
One industry that’s booming is truck driving, a career that’s attracting young and old from all walks of life.
It’s been an emotional roller coaster for Roy Douglas, who lost his leg to diabetes and was forced out of his home.
“I sleep on my street in my van,” said Douglas.
All within the last two years, he’s has been trying to get back into the job market, but with no luck.
“I had applications in at least 200 places around Sacramento, but who wants to hire a 71-year-old, one-legged fat man?” said Douglas. “So I called Robby.”
Robby Wilson is the owner of CDIC, a Sacramento truck driving school.
“It’s soaring, and as the economy gets better, there will be even more jobs,” said Wilson.
Wilson says the economy is spiking an interesting trend.
“I’m seeing 30 percent or more from the white collar industry,” he said of those entering the truck driving business.
Dennis White is one of those white-collar workers.
“I always thought it would be fun to drive a truck,” said White.
So when his shutter business fell victim to the down economy, he decided to switch gears.
“There’s a lot of things to see in the United States, that’s for sure,” said White.
Twenty-three-year-old Karl Denzler’s career as a pizza delivery guy stalled.
“Paychecks weren’t really cutting it,” he said.
So to increase his paycheck, Denzler went from his little Honda Civic to a big rig.
“This is quite a big step up from that,” said Denzler.
It’s only been four weeks, but he already went to the DMV to take his test on Saturday.
“I definitely don’t want to fail, because I got a job lined up,” said Denzler. “For this, they’re calling you to get hired. So you can’t complain about that.”
Douglas definitely can’t complain, because he now has a warm bed and a job.
“I would still be homeless; and it’s getting wet out and it’s getting cold,” he said.
It costs about $4,000 to go through the four-week program, which has more than a 90-percent hiring rate upon graduation.