JOPLIN, Mo. — One of the biggest industries in the Four States is facing a worsening shortage of man power. But there could be a solution to that problem — woman power.

You could say that trucking runs in the blood of Penny Thomas. She followed in her father’s footsteps into the industry, but not behind a desk, behind the wheel. She got a new ride from her employer CFI.

“It’s pretty. I have to be honest with you, when they were hiding the truck from me and I came around the corner yesterday and they showed me the truck, they said they could hear me across the building, I was like “holy,” said Penny Thomas, CFI Driver.

But this isn’t the first rig she’s driven that promotes her employer’s commitment to women living behind a wheel. It replaces her old rig; her’s is one of the faces of actual CFI drivers depicted on the wrap. And for the record, she’s now at 1.6 million miles without an accident. But Thomas says it’s not just other women that are taking notice.

“Really great to see more women out here and even the men are approaching me and saying you know, I can get my wife to accompany me, the kids are grown, I can get my wife to drive, and she can join me on the road. So I really think it encourages other women that they can do it, cause they don’t think of it as an option,” she added.

The “She Drives CFI Campaign” started in 2018, but you can tell with this latest wrap job, it’s being kicked up a notch.

Like Thomas, Elaine Bodnar followed her dad into the industry, in fact her handle, “blue-eyes,” is in his honor. And she’s happy to serve as a role model and even train them, too.

“I want to make sure we do get the females out here, women drivers, and that they’re safe, and that they’re successful, and give them every bit of information I could possibly give them to be successful,” said Elaine Bodnar, CFI Driver, Driving Instructor.