Lessons learned from scratching an itch.
For the past couple of years, I’ve heard a lot about the shortage of truck drivers in the country, so I said to myself.. “Self.. you like driving.. why don’t you drive a truck?” I started doing some research and here is what I found…
In order to drive a “big rig” or a “Optimus Prime” type truck in the United States, you need to do the following.
- Learn how to drive a truck by going to a truck driving school.
- Take and pass a test at the end of the class.
- Obtain a Class A Commercial Drivers License (CDL)
These schools charge upwards of $4000 for a 6 course, so I looked into financial assistance options. I heard about a federal program called the Workforce Opportunity and Innovation Act or (WIOA Program), which helps pay for some or all of the cost of tuition for certain individuals that qualify.
Even though it’s a federal program, it’s administered by each states Workforce Commission, in my case it’s the Texas Workforce Commission or TWC. As with most government programs, the process is a little backwards.. here’s what you have to do.
- Find an Eligible Training Provider (ETP) in your region.
- Find out when the next class starts, and try to reserve your spot in that class.
- Contact your local TWC board, tell them you’ve signed up and need financial assistance.
- TWC will setup an appointment with an eligibility counselor who will determine if you qualify for financial assistance or not.
I needed to find a truck driving school in Corpus Christi that’s approved by the TWC.
The process of finding an ETP in Texas is horrible. You have to sort through an excel spreadsheet with 4500 rows and 45 columns. The WIOA website specifically states:
“WIOA establishes a priority requirement with respect to funds allocated to a local area for adult employment and training activities. American Job Center staff, when using WIOA Adult funds to provide individualized career services and training services, must give priority to recipients of public assistance, other low-income individuals, and individuals who are basic skills deficient.”
If someone is skills deficient, they probably don’t have the skills to sort through an Excel spreadsheet, especially on a phone.
So, I thought I’d build a simple website/web app that would help me search the ETPL for Texas.
Turns out I don’t qualify for financial assistance, but I learnt a lot while building the app, so I wanted to share what I learnt.
I’ll be updating this post to share the following topics.
Setting up a server to host the app.
Deploying the app with Github Actions
Setting up Analytics and Event Tracking