Grays Harbor College launches log truck driver training program

Grays Harbor College in Aberdeen, Wash., is once again stepping up to address workplace needs in the forestry industry. First the school started offering a Bachelor of Applied Sciences in Forest Resources Management, and thanks to grant money, students for the next two years will have their tuition paid for.

Now Grays Harbor College is launching a training program for log truck drivers. According to the Aberdeen Daily World, these forestry companies were instrumental in getting the training program off the ground:

B & M Logging, Bucks Logging, Weyerhaeuser, Port Blakely, ENB Logging, Washington Contract Loggers Association, MacMillan Logging, McKay and Sons, Washington Trucking Associations and R.L. Smith Logging.

In addition, Weyerhaeuser has donated a log truck and trailer along with a road use permit.

The program is in response to a longtime shortage in the industry of log truck drivers.

About two years ago, several employers approached Nancy Estergard, Coordinator for Business Contract Training and Community Education (at Grays Harbor College), about the need for log truck drivers. The program started with a grant from Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council with a class of four students.

Local employers continued to ask for more consistent training to offset the retirement of existing log truck drivers and the lack of drivers entering the industry. The small group began their focus on the curriculum, which was endorsed and approved by the Grays Harbor College Instructional Council, the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges and the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

The training is a 60-hour, three-credit program for drivers who hold a current Class A Commercial Drivers License or students who complete the college’s CDL program.

This is great news for Washington forestry. Please contact the college if you are interested in being a student or an instructor.

Anyone interested in taking the class can contact Nancy Estergard at 360-538-4012 for information. Anyone who has extensive experience driving a log truck that would be interested in training others, please contact Nancy as well. There is a need for two additional instructors to teach about 20 hours per month.