Region 9 instructor tells of nationwide truck-driver shortage

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MEXICO — Truck driving instructor Eddy Naples told the Region 9 School of Applied Technology board Wednesday night that the state and the country have a shortage of truck drivers.

He said the Maine Department of Transportation and various school districts, including RSU 10 in Rumford and nearby RSU 9 in Farmington, are always looking for qualified drivers.

He has 41 high school students in his program, and an unspecified number of adults in the adult education class.

A new class begins several times a year.

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During his annual report to the board, Naples said students come from Bethel, Dixfield, Rumford, Farmington, Turner and Buckfield high schools.

In other matters Wednesday, director Brenda Gammon said 10 committees have been established to study the school’s vocational program in preparation for the Maine Department of Education’s review. She said the DOE visit next fall, but establishing committees is an integral part of the process.

In another matter, Gammon said the withdrawal of Andover from SAD 44 in Bethel will prompt a revision of the vocational school’s cooperative agreement with the sending districts of RSU 10 and SAD 44.

Also, she will look into whether Andover should have a representative on the Region 9 board. Seats are available for Gilead and Upton, two towns not affiliated with a district.

Also on Wednesday, Adult and Community Education director Nancy Allen said 23 adult students recently graduated from the program.

Efforts are being made to contact former students who had begun to work toward their high school equivalency or diploma but didn’t finish.

She also said nine certified nursing assistant students have graduated from the Region 9 program.

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