For those that want to learn a trade, few jobs are as lucrative as truck driving. As many of us learned during the pandemic, we rely heavily on the transportation of goods—and when this is disrupted, we all suffer.

According to, the average base salary for a truck driver in Washington state is $80,663. To put this in context, the average salary reported in Kelso, WA is $41,324. That’s why, for many job seekers, earning a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) can be a life-changing move.

At WorkSource, we help people get back to work via resources, support services, and job training. Of all the trainings we’ve helped people go through to reach the next step in their careers, CDL is by far one of the most requested. Because of this, we reached out to Right-Way CDL—a newer driving company with a growing reputation for teaching students what they need to know to get into the transportation industry—in hopes of paying for four WorkSource customers to earn their CDL.

Right-Way CDL was immediately amenable to this request, and we went to work finding eligible candidates. Our Employment Specialists searched their caseloads, while also screening interested parties who heard about this opportunity from social media. It didn’t take long for the four slots to fill up and soon we had a full class of WorkSource customers—all of them ready to change their lives.

One of these students, Brian Phelps, found out about the CDL class from his Employment Specialist. “I feel lucky to have gotten the opportunity because I had no idea. I was talking to my WorkSource case manager trying to get help from unemployment,” he said. From there, his case manager recommended he go for his CDL. Upon completion, Brian said, “It’s going to open up a lot more doors for employment and money for my wife and my daughter and I.”

For others, like Olivia Boitano, earning a CDL was something of a long-term goal finally brought to fruition with the help of WorkSource. “This is a career I’ve always wanted to do,” said Olivia.

So, now that the class is over, how do the job prospects look?

“[Right-Way CDL] is going to work with me to find me a job in the next week or so,” said Olivia, echoing a common sentiment among graduates—that Right-Way is committed to its students not only passing, but also finding employment.

WorkSource case managers play a large part though in removing barriers for eligible participants. Because job training doesn’t operate in a vacuum, we know that barriers exist and can quickly derail new students’ attempts to better their situation. Support services are our answer to that and it’s how we assist our job seekers through every step of the training and job search process.

One candidate, George Schmidt, said he “came across WorkSource and it was, like, the only place you can get financial aid.” Coming here with training in mind, he didn’t expect for his case manager to help him while he went to school too. “I was given $75 of gas vouchers for school.” Another CDL student, Tabatha Spooner, said,”[My case worker] has been in contact with me at least two times a week.”

This holistic approach to training and job search is why the WorkSource system is so effective. Eligible job seekers are not only given tuition scholarships to pay for training in an in-demand career—they’re also supported until they reach the finish line.

“Really, it’s just changing my whole life,” said George Schmidt.

For those interested in training and are ready to take the next step, reach out to Kristine Williams at or call at 360.578.4211.




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