Coca-Cola donates $1 million to Georgia college truck driver training

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

Atlanta-based Coca-Cola announced Tuesday that it’s donating $1 million to the Technical College System of Georgia to expand its commercial truck driving program, which both sides hope will address an industry driver shortage.

The trucking industry has lost 6% of its drivers nationwide since the coronavirus pandemic, according to the American Trucking Association. The shortage is expected to increase, officials said during the announcement.

Officials say they hope the donation will result in the state’s Technical College System hiring 11 full-time and two part-time instructors at some of its schools.

“This investment will allow us to prepare drivers to enter the industry, helping to ensure the continued transport of goods across this state,” Technical College System of Georgia Commissioner Greg Dozier said during Tuesday’s announcement in Savannah.

Coca-Cola delivery partners in some states say they’re struggling to recruit enough truck drivers, which has resulted in some product shortages, according to published reports. One bottling company has about 85 commercial truck driver openings in Georgia.

“By supporting TCSG’s Commercial Truck Driving Program trainers and faculty, we’re making sure the next generation of drivers gets a world-class education while simultaneously working to address the driver shortage and provide opportunity for Georgians,” said Mark Rahiya, Coca-Cola’s Chief Supply Chain, Technical and Innovation Officer.