February 21, 2022
You don’t have to agree with their politics to get the message protesting truckers sent across the border from Canada: The economy depends on truck drivers. And America just doesn’t have enough of them.
According to the American Trucking Association, the nation is currently short by about 80,000 drivers.
Across America, businesses like the HDS Truck Driving Institute in Tucson, Ariz. are working to fill that gap. They are part of an industry of for-profit career colleges pumping employees into the U.S. economy in some of the most high-demand areas: Transportation, nursing, construction, and the service sector.
And because their students access federal financial aid to help cover the costs of their training, they are also forced to keep an eye on Washington, D.C.
The Biden administration’s Department of Education is convening a rulemaking committee to review the regulations for career colleges. Advocates for those schools say the administration’s bias against their for-profit model is tilting the rules against them. And, they say, both their students and the nation’s economy will pay the price.
For example, Colorado’s Denver College of Nursing has 790 enrolled students and has been graduating significant numbers of nurses and health care professionals for years. Nursing programs like it could be at risk due to the Department of Education’s proposed rule changes.
“We only have one seat at the table for a negotiated rulemaking session that is disproportionately aimed at our sector and the issues that impact for-profit schools the most,” said Nicholas Kent, senior vice president of policy & regulatory affairs for Career Education Colleges and Universities (CECUs). “The Biden administration actually appointed two individuals to represent public schools.”