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METRANS

by Dan Lamere, USC, Masters of Urban Planning 2021

Azulita-Jane Camacho recently graduated from Pima Community College's Truck Driving Training Program in Tucson, Arizona. Pima Community College is a METRANS Pacific Southwest Region University Transportation Center (PSR) partner. As a member of the Deaf community, Azulita-Jane’s journey to earning a Class A Commercial Driver's License (CDL) was no easy feat. Now, it is clear that her hard work and determination to enter the trucking and transportation industry have paid off as she begins her career with Prime Inc. as a truck driver.

 

Azulita-Jane has had a passion for the transportation industry from a young age. Growing up in San Jose, California, she always enjoyed long road trips, seeing new places, and experiencing new things. "Growing up, I had a big interest in cars, working hands-on with big equipment and mechanical engines, breaking every stereotype and working in fields where you often don't see women working. I decided to put both passions for traveling and big equipment together, and it's definitely trucking."

 

 

Reflecting on her CDL achievement, Azulita-Jane described the challenges she faced in accomplishing this goal. As a Deaf young woman, she is proud to have forged new paths along the way, and is happy to be recognized for the hard work that she put in to study for and pass the CDL Class A examination.

 

Before she could even take the exam, though, she was required to apply for a medical waiver in order to use an interpreter for the exam, part of which takes place on road, much like a typical Class C driver’s license test. Azulita-Jane waited anxiously to hear back on the waiver status for months, only for her request to be denied. Luckily, Pima's coursework prepared her well for the written portion of the exam, and she was very meticulous in ensuring she answered the questions accurately.

 

Once she completed the written exam, and with her waiver request never granted, Azulita-Jane was tasked with one the hardest parts of the process: the road exam. Since the exam administrator had to gesture every move for her to make, the exam took Azulita-Jane extra effort to pass. "It felt very limited to me having to do double the work to make sure everything goes smoothly for me to be able to take an exam without an interpreter," she stated. The process was not easy, but she showed incredible confidence and dedication in preparing herself for success on the exam and adjusting to the circumstances as they arose.

 

Passing the exam itself was just the beginning. Once she was notified of her passing score, Azulita-Jane needed to find a job. During the job search, her patience and determination once again paid off. "Not going to lie, it was a bit of a struggle trying to land a job being Deaf, young, and a new driver, but I was very patient. That's the key to being a good driver!" she shared.

 

After applying to different employers within the transportation and trucking industry, Azulita-Jane is now employed by Prime, a leading trucking company, and is on her way to a successful career on the road.

 

She is very grateful for her experience at Pima Community College, where she received a tremendous amount of support from her teachers and interpreters. Her personality, work ethic, and passions are a great fit for her new career, where her focus and patience will lead to success. When asked about her long-term goals, she anticipates driving with Prime for the next few years. She ultimately wants to start her own luxury car transportation business using the skills and experiences she will gain from the trucking industry. We wish Azulita-Jane continued success in her career, and are excited to see her continue to act as a changemaker for both the Deaf community and for her fellow truckers.

 

About the Author:

Dan Lamere is a second-year Master of Urban Planning student at the USC Price School of Public Policy. He works as a staff writer and project coordinator for the METRANS student team.