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Agg haulers hit the books

WINNIPEG, Man. - A joint project between the Manitoba Independent Dump Truck Association (MIDTA) and the Manitoba Trucking Industry Education Advisory Committee (MTIEAC) is tackling the driver shortag...


BIG CLASS: Winnipeg dump drivers are in short supply.
BIG CLASS: Winnipeg dump drivers are in short supply.

WINNIPEG, Man. – A joint project between the Manitoba Independent Dump Truck Association (MIDTA) and the Manitoba Trucking Industry Education Advisory Committee (MTIEAC) is tackling the driver shortage issue plaguing Manitoba’s aggregate industry.

A new training program is being offered at no cost to individuals who are receiving social assistance, and the early results look promising.

To qualify for the 14-week course, individuals must be receiving welfare payments, Employment Insurance or must have collected social assistance within the past few years.

There is already one class under way, and program director, Colette Gauvin, says the program has been very well received so far.

“The response has been very, very good,” says Gauvin. “The industry is excited about this and willing to help,” she adds, noting that several companies have donated trailers and equipment to the program.

The program includes four weeks of classroom instruction, four weeks of in-cab training and six weeks of on the job training with a sponsor company.

“The aggregate sector has a shortage just like the long-haul sector and that’s part of the reason the government agreed to fund this,” says Gauvin. “Hopefully this will help meet that demand.”

MIDTA president Garry Petryck explains he helped initiate the program, and his organization is overseeing the project.

“It’s been a long process to get this running,” says Petryck.

In response to a 1998 study that uncovered the need for more Class 1 aggregate drivers in Winnipeg, MIDTA previously worked with the local Teamsters Union to form a training school. But, the group lost its funding due to poor management and bookkeeping.

“The only reason that the last one failed was because the union was trying to take control,” says Petryck. “The union blew an excellent opportunity … typically, the union controlled it, and it fell apart.”

Petryck adds there is no union involvement in the new school.

Gauvin says there will be more classes offered under the program, and applications are now being accepted. Interested individuals can call MTIEAC at 204-925-8940. n


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