I feel like I don’t really leave the office sometimes because I see our college wherever I go. Most visibly, it’s hard to avoid noticing the college’s name when you see our truck driving students navigate their way around roads and highways in semis and other specialized trucks.
Every time I see our trucks around the community, for starters I remind myself to be patient! Most recently though, I found myself reflecting on the distinctiveness of this career and how it’s changed with new technologies and better comfort. On the other hand, one thing that hasn’t changed is the high demand for these skilled drivers.
When thinking about truck driving as a career, it’s easy to focus on the challenges associated with moving big, bulky vehicles across the country on little sleep. I’ve learned, for example, that perceptions like these, albeit sometimes true, do not represent the big picture when it comes to this important segment of the transportation industry.
Take, for instance, how today’s skilled truck drivers themselves look at the profession. One of our recent completers of the college’s Truck Driving program, Robin Grapa, touched many of us here when she shared her story in a recent issue of Women in Truckingmagazine.
Robin overcame a serious illness to earn a second chance at life. Thanks to the support of family, friends, and medical professionals, Robin explored a few different careers—all with an incredible attitude. In between jobs, she fulfilled a lifetime dream of backpacking about 2,600 miles from Mexico to Canada with the guidance of her husband. From that experience emerged another view on life.
Robin discovered truck driving while hiking those endless, scenic miles. Her newfound calling led her to what she calls, “one of the nation’s best trucking schools.” Specifically, Robin is referring to Fox Valley Technical College. She summarizes her training here as, “absolutely amazing.”
I agree with Robin when it comes to why her training was so meaningful—our instructors and instructional aides. I also believe that it is the people behind these large semis with new technologies and GPS equipment that make this industry special.
Both Robin and her husband drive now, professionally. For Robin, her time at Fox Valley Technical College makes all of us truly appreciate that each individual student has a unique story to tell and success has a certain view. Robin’s view of success comes with a lot of scenery, guided by inspiration that started along those long, endless roads… those same roads she travels on again today.