We were flipping through the August 2012 issue of the GI Jobs magazine when we found our very own Tony Yanez getting interviewed and talking about his new job after training with us.
Former Navy hospital corpsman Tony Yanez used the enhanced Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to chart a new career path. After putting the brakes on nursing school, Yanez’s life detoured as he relocated to Barstow, Calif., and began work doing erosion control and land rehabilitation for the military.
When he decided another job change was in order, Yanez used the Post-9/11 GI Bill to enroll in California Career School, a commercial truck driving school. The school, which operates multiple California locations, offers service members and veterans a deeply discounted $4,500 tuition rate when obtaining their A and B commercial driving licenses.
Yanez, 30, sped through the 16-week course in one-fourth the allotted time and immediately was hired by USA Services Inc., a California-based trucking company that specializes in transporting chemicals, catalyst and raw materials. Yanez now drives a vacuum truck that services oil refineries throughout the Western coastal states.
Yanez says his training at California Career School and military background paid immediate dividends, landing him a well-paying job that typically would go to a more experienced commercial driver.
“Being right out of school, having zero experience, it is unheard of for me to have this kind of job,” he said. “Normally, any kind of driver with zero experience is going to go long haul, over the road, and be gone most of the time.”
California Career School Director Chuck Emanuele says commercial truck drivers are in demand despite the weak economy, with 90 percent of the school’s graduates finding employment. In particular, he says, companies involved in oil drilling and oil fracking want to hire veterans because of their discipline and work ethic.
“It’s hard work, but compared to some of the stuff veterans have done in Afghanistan and Iraq, this is easy, and they start them out at $65,000,” Emanuele said. “By the end of the year, they typically are making close to $100,000.”
Yanez, 30, would like more veterans to take advantage of the expanded educational opportunities available using the Post-9/11 GI bill.
“I never thought I would have gone to truck driving school and be where I am now,” he said. “Rather than sit on it, give yourself a viable skill you can put on your resume and make yourself more marketable.”
Excerpt from original article:
“Not Just for College Any More” by Andrea Downing Peck
GI Jobs Magazine, August 2012 issue