(Chicago Sun-Times) — The path to financial security for Teamsters Local 710 member Virginia Clark came from behind the wheel of a semi.
It’s a route the long-haul driver would like to see more women pursue in a field that’s in the grips of a driver shortage, industry representatives say.
Clark is one of the 5.2 percent of women semi-truck drivers in the U.S., a career where pay varies widely and that women say offers opportunity amid roadblocks.
The industry is short 30,000 truckers nationwide, and that’s expected to grow to more than 200,000 in the next decade, Ellen Voie, president and chief executive of the Women in Trucking Association, said. The group was founded to address obstacles and encourage more women to enter the field.
“I was just fascinated with the big trucks and looking for a better way to take care of my family; that’s what got me into it,” said Clark, 53, who earns a six-figure salary.
For the past 20 years, she has worked for YRC Worldwide out of its Chicago Heights terminal.
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