Angela Martin, a retired school teacher, was working as a substitute for the Worcester County public school system when she heard the call of the open road. Martin said that she always wanted to drive “over the road.” With her fiancé working as a carpenter with his commercial driver’s license (CDL), she came up with the idea to get her CDL so that they could travel and work together as a second career for both of them.
She called Wor-Wic to find out about financial assistance for truck driver training and was put in touch with the Lower Shore Workforce Alliance, who fully funded her coursework.
She completed the program in November of 2018, received her CDL and after working for another company and gaining experience, she and her fiancé bought their own truck and created their own company, Second Wind Transportation. They currently contract through the Armstrong Transport Group and work together as over-the-road drivers, driving long distance, being away for weeks at a time, and then home for a week or so.
Eventually, she would like to get her own operating authority through the Maryland Department of Transportation so that she can handle her own loads without contracting through another company. It would mean more responsibility, but also more money.
“I love it,” Martin said. “We work together, so I don’t miss him. My kids are grown up, so it’s just us on the road, being our own bosses.”
They used to pick up loads of medical machinery, such as MRI machines, CT scanners and coagulation machines, to take to trade shows at convention centers or deliver to customers who ordered them. Once the pandemic hit, most of the shows shut down, so now they are hauling loads of hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes across the country. One hardship they have encountered is that many truck stops were closed to everything but fuel – no open restrooms or food being available. “Thankfully, a lot of the weigh stations gave out food,” said Martin. “And we were lucky to run into one family at a rest stop that was handing out sandwiches to the truckers. It was also nice to see ‘Thank you truckers’ banners hanging from overpasses as we drove along.”
Martin said she chose Wor-Wic for training because it was convenient to her home in Berlin and that two of her children had positive experiences as students at Wor-Wic. “The course was only eight weeks long and it was really nice that the instructor went with me to the Motor Vehicle Administration to take the test to get my license,” she said. “WorWic and the Lower Shore Workforce Alliance truly launched this second career for me. I am so appreciative.”
For more information on truck driver training and possible financial assistance, call the continuing education division at 410-334-2815.