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High school students discover the challenges of truck driving

About 150 high schoolers at McDowell High School in Erie, Pennsylvania had their eyes opened to the realities of trucking thanks to a hands-on program from Penn State Behrend, where they got to sit in the driver's seat of a tractor-trailer.

What they learned: Most students were shocked to realize the extent of truck blind spots which they experienced firsthand during the event. They also gained insight into the high demand for truckers and the potential earnings within the industry.

"You really had no idea before getting in the truck it was that bad because everyone knows there’s a truck blind spot, but no one really knows the extent of it," said Alec Coon, a junior at McDowell High School.

Michelle Hartmann from Penn State Behrend highlighted a national truck driver shortage, stressing the critical need for new drivers in the local and national market according to YourErie.

Bigger picture: With a reported shortage of 78,000 drivers, initiatives like this are not just educational, they're also a push to attract young people into a career that's vital for the economy.

The interactive day concluded with a greater appreciation among students for truck driving safety and what it takes to manage such large vehicles on the road.

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