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The area surrounding Patterson High School has become a mecca for distribution centers the past several years, bringing in companies such as Amazon, CVS, Grainger, Kohls and Restoration Hardware. Superintendent Philip Alfano saw an opportunity and created a “Supply Chain and Logistics Management Program” at the high school that trains students for entry-level positions at these facilities. Two years ago I approached Alfano with the idea of starting a truck driving school and the process began to create one of the first high school truck driving programs in the nation.
Although I have been an elementary school teacher for 17 years, I am definitely not new to trucking. I began my career in the trucking industry in 1988 as a way to financially support myself through college. After earning a degree in business administration from C.S.U. Stanislaus, I was hired by a large manufacturing company as a driver/manager. After having a successful career as a driver and logging over 700,000 accident- and ticket-free miles, I felt called into the area of education.
After eight years as an elementary school teacher, I was compelled to do more for individuals marginalized by society and so I founded a tuition-free, non-profit truck driving school ministry called Faith Logistics. During my summers off from teaching, I trained individuals recently released from prison and teach them how to drive a truck and provided job placement assistance. For ten years this was my passion until regulatory changes affecting diesel engines forced the dissolution of this organization.
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