Michael Pack was first on the scene of Ohio’s heroin epidemic to offer relief and support to local communities. Pack, who is the great great great grandson of James Ashley who founded Ashley’s Corner, has previously donated syringes to Portsmouth Helath Department and spoke at the Lucky Lyons Rally in 2016 in Tracy Park, and attended this year’s opoid awareness event at Spartan Stadium where he spoke. Aside from his ties to the local community, Pack is a Certified Interventionist, a national circuit speaker, and has worked closely with Ohio Governor Michael DeWine, Celebrity Coach Dr. Cali Estes, and A&E interventionists Jeff Vanvonderon, Candy Finnigan, and Tim Ryan. Recently Mr. Pack has been attending Great Lakes Truck Driving School as part of his ongoing commitment to providing transportation resources to the addiction recovery community. Great Lakes Truck Driving School offers CDL, heavy equipment, and oil field safety training. A big goal of theirs is to help veterans, addicts in recovery and those affected by unemployment to rebuild their lives and careers in America’s heartland.
“Ohio is the birthplace of the heroin epidemic and the heartbeat of the nation,” Mr. Pack recently stated. “Governor DeWine and others like Doris Young have been doing great things to help. Doris and the school help anyone who has a desire to start over or start a new career get off on the right foot and thrive,” he continued. “My dream of owning and operating a transportation company wouldn’t have been possible without Doris and Great Lakes.”
The Great Lakes Truck Driving School is one of the top commercial driving schools in the nation and offers several different courses, including CDL certification, heavy equipment operator licensing, and oil field safety training. Graduates from the school are virtually guaranteed a job upon completion of their program. With up to 90% of the students placed upon graduation, owner Doris Young said, “We usually get 15-20 trucking companies here monthly, actively recruiting and offering pre-hire agreements. Students average three pre-hire offers and I’ve seen as many as 12 for one student!” Young continued, “There’s a serious shortage of drivers right now and with the Trade Readjustment Act, WIOA and Pell Grants, our scholarships, and other aid available someone can rapidly turn this into a financially solid career.”
Students at the Great Lakes Truck Driving School travel nationwide for one of their four programs. Workers left unemployed because of plant shutdowns or other scalebacks can quickly be in the driver’s seat and supporting their family again in as few as five weeks. Facing a re-education program at a college or university doesn’t offer that opportunity. Doris Young started the Top 10 Trucking School in 2008 and graduates about 450 students annually. “My son Roger was talking to a graduate recently who had come to us homeless, and he was calling us three years later to thank us and let us know he now had $100,000 in his savings account,” Young recounted. “We’re so happy we can help people rebuild their lives and find success, we’re so blessed.”
Young’s other son Randy was, unfortunately, one of the tragic victims of the opioid epidemic. After he suffered an accident where he was hit by a car, he became addicted to the pain medication he was prescribed to help manage his injuries. Ohio’s overdose deaths spiked in 2017, with the crisis showing no signs of abating. A recent Ohio settlement in the ongoing legal battle surrounding the pharmaceutical companies who manufacture opioids ratchets up the pressure on plaintiffs and drug companies to reach a global settlement. A $260 million late-night settlement between four drug companies and two Ohio counties averted a trial over who is to blame for the opioid crisis, clearing the way for broader talks aimed at resolving thousands of opioid-addiction cases nationwide.
For now, the latest deal will direct $215 million to Ohio’s Cuyahoga and Summit counties from the country’s top drug distributors: McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health Inc. and AmerisourceBergen Corp. The counties—which encompass the Cleveland and Akron metro areas—will also receive $20 million in cash and the donation of $25 million in addiction-treatment drugs from Israel-based drug manufacturer Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. “Throughout the epidemic, we had three of the top 10 to death overdose capitals. And even though we were the lowest funded state in the nation until this year, we are showing the world how to recover,” stated Mr. Pack. “Ohio’s highways and byways can lead you anywhere, and now we’re leading the nation in addiction recovery.” He continued, “And I never imagined the top school in the USA would not only train me but provide a scholarship for me as well. I’m forever grateful.” “We train veterans, unemployed, underemployed, and homeless to start a new career,” said Young. “But I’ve always got a soft spot for the addicts seeking help. It’s not their fault and they need someone to believe in them, and Great Lakes can provide that support.” For more information about Great Lakes Truck Driving School, call (440) 236-3436 or visit https://greatlakestds.com/