PGT Innovations addressed the current shortage of Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) drivers by creating its own, in-house CDL driver certification training course for its existing employees and the company recently celebrated the first class of graduates.

“Trying to recruit qualified CDL Class-A drivers was proving to be quite difficult,” said Rachel Evans, vice president of Human Resources at PGT Innovations. “We saw the potential in our existing team member population and realized that we could offer a program to our own folks who were interested in taking their careers in a new direction.”

PGT Innovations brought in instructors from FleetForce Truck Driving School to lead the course. The group of team members went through a full week of classroom learning at PGT Innovations’ Venice campus, followed by three weeks of driving instruction in a controlled parking lot.

“The need for CDL drivers right now can’t be overstated,” said Tra Williams, president of FleetForce Truck Driving School. “PGT Innovations recognized that they could fill this need and at the same time, invest in their team members’ futures. Through this CDL training, they are creating a path of upward mobility.”

The eight employees who completed the training program have passed their certification exams. Over the next year, they will partner up with a current trained CDL driver to learn at a gradual pace.

“This program aligns with PGT Innovations’ vision of serving, leading, and thriving,” said Evans. “The more we serve our team members through career advancement opportunities, the more likely they are to move into leadership roles supporting our organization. The outcome is a thriving company.”

Though CDL drivers are usually only responsible for transporting goods between destinations, CDL drivers for PGT Innovations will assist with the loading, unloading, and final inspection of products to ensure safe handling, damage-free delivery, and increased customer satisfaction.

Earlier this month, PGT Innovations celebrated its truck drivers during National Truck Driver Appreciation Week (NTDAW) with a breakfast and a truck driver appreciation t-shirt.

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