For 18 years, Darin Brauer made a living with his own archery shop.
"Finally, with the economy and the big box stores moving in, it just couldn't support what I needed to make a living."
So, he decided to shift gears.
"I knew the trucking industry needed people to come work for them."
Brauer is one of a few dozen enrolled in the truck driver training program at Lincoln Land Community College. He's learning to enter an industry which appears to be booming.
"Last report I seen was something like, 200,000 openings nationwide."
Bob Howard is the program's director.
"Even though, you know, sometimes the economy suffers and you read about that, everything we touch in a day comes in on a truck."
Last month, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) saw a big jump in the number of jobs posted online statewide. Many of those new positions were trucking jobs.
"You hear some of the guys who have already been here at school and they haven't been through school yet, and they already got 3, 4, 5 job offers already."
Brauer says it was tough to give up the job he knew and loved, but it wasn't too tough to find something to fill the void.
"I'm looking forward to doing something new, to doing something different."
The program director says he's seen people graduate and get jobs paying more than $40,000/year. IDES says 215,000 jobs were posted online last month. That's up almost 20,000 from the year before. 92% of those jobs were full-time. Truck drivers topped the list, but employers were also looking for registered nurses and retail sales workers.
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