CHEYENNE, Wyoming. – Cheyenne, Wyoming — Justin Smith just wanted to find some work-life balance. The single mom of two daughters, needed to make ends meet, but also spend time with her family.
So, she set out to do just that in early 2021 when she joined the Laramie County Community College, Commercial Driver’s License program. Smith was able to participate thanks in part to Climb WY, a program that assists single moms overcome poverty.
Smith found success in the program quickly.
“She excelled and shared her enthusiasm and knowledge with her teammates and was driven to understand and master her new aspirations,” said Michael Geissler LCCC CDL coordinator.
She carried that enthusiasm through the 184-hour program to become LCCC’s first CDL graduate and was immediately offered a job hauling aggregate and silage.
But she’s already moving on to bigger ideas.
“Her entrepreneurial spirit immediately kicked in, and after a couple of months of researching and weighing her options she decided to purchase her very first truck and trailers,” Geissler said. “She learned that with a variety of trailer options she would be able to accommodate and compete for more work.”
Things are going well enough for her that she is considering purchasing a second semi hiring on her first employee and securing more of her own business accounts. She is being cautious, though, taking the time to learn how other companies operate.
“She will learn through challenges, but is willing to keep them to a minimum by observing other companies, comparing pay structures, competition, seasonal work, negotiating terms and ultimately carving out her own niche,” Geissler said.
At this point, Justin has decided to operate only in the state of Wyoming since crossing into a neighboring state would only increase the paperwork and reduce her time with her family. Thankfully, Wyoming has plenty of work available to make her goals become reality. She will continue to evaluate opportunities and is determined to grow the business slowly without compromising her values.
“Trucking is in her blood and we all know that she will succeed,” Geissler said.
To find out more about LCCC’s CDL program, visit lccc.wy.edu/cdl or contact Michael Geissler at MGeissleFREELARAMIE or 307.432.1637.