Dustin Wildhaber is from Cape Girardeau, Missouri and was earning a minimal living working on the farm caring for cattle and pitching hay. After becoming laid off from the farm, Dustin needed to improve his chances to secure employment in a competitive job market. Dustin is a 29 year old Veteran who had obtained his GED but had few resources to obtain vocational training.
He researched and contacted Southern Missouri Truck Driving School (SMTDS) but did not have the means to cover the expense of school while maintaining his daily living expenses. Dustin was also very anxious as he learned he was an expectant father and his earnings were a necessity. Dustin’s father is a truck driver and knew he could make a good income in the trucking industry.
Regina McClendon, Office Manager and Co-Owner of SMTDS referred him to UMOS after asking if he had been employed in farm work in the past two years.
He contacted UMOS National Farmworker Job Program in Kennett. Sandra Self conducted a telephone screening followed by an appointment in Cape Girardeau to meet Dustin. He met requirements of the NFJP and was approved for tuition, stipend, and gas assistance.
He entered trucking school in December 2011 and completed in January with the four week course. Dustin acquired a 95 GPA in class, performed a perfect Pre-Trip Inspection, and completed well on the road test, graduating at the top of class.
Dustin received his CDL with full endorsement on January 13th to help his employability and had obtained full time employment by January 30th.. Letters of recommendation were sent to potential employers by case manager to assist in obtaining interviews for jobs. Dustin presented himself very well for interviews with good communication skills, motivation, and leadership qualities. He began working at PTI in Sikeston, Missouri as an OTR driver. He had landed a very good job and with a company based close to Cape Girardeau where he says he luckily spends most every weekend with his family.
Dustin is dedicated to his work and has been trucking steadily earning approximately $825 weekly. Within two weeks of obtaining his CDL, Dustin was on the road “solo” in his newly assigned Freightliner headed to Abilene, Texas.
Dustin received another enticing job opportunity as a CDL driver for Ozarc Gas in Cape Girardeau, Missouri in the summer of 2012.
On August 2nd, Dustin secured a full time position with starting wage of $14.50 an hour and since then has acquired complete benefits. Dustin’s route includes short runs to Kentucky, Illinois, and regional deliveries within Missouri. He is very satisfied with his employment and pleased to have routes which will bring him home to family every night.
Dustin said UMOS was the stepping stone to get him where he wanted to be in life. “I had the determination but no help to get there until UMOS National Farmworker Jobs Program provided a bridge to the barriers.”
He is still employed at Ozarc Gas and doing excellent job!