When Crissy Harper's husband lost his manufacturing job, they had to find a new way to make a living. She says that's when they decided to become truck drivers.
"We both like to travel," Harper said. "We don't have any kids, and we have both thought for awhile that we wanted to do this, so we figured it was a good time."
The Harpers among many people who stopped by a job fair at the Truck Driver Institute in Harrison County on Saturday. Employers say now is a good time for anyone considering a career in truck driving. Because of a shortage of drivers, they are offering more perks than in the past.
Greg Tyler, a company representative said "The pay has risen in the last few years. Average first year earnings for a solo driver is around $32,000 for a team it runs around $75,000. We've got major medical, vision, stock purchase programs, and 401k programs."
Trucking companies say the rash of layoffs in the manufacturing industry has helped to alleviate some of their hiring problems. However, some people say they are applying just because they enjoy that type work.
"For the money, for the peace of mind, for the traveling and being able to move around and just stay state to state," said George Stallworth, a job applicant.
Because many of the companies at the job fair pre-hire, most job seekers will get several employment offers even before they finish training.