New program prepares students to head out on the road with commercial driver’s license

Published 2:12 pm Thursday, October 27, 2016

Those who like to travel and meet new people may find a rewarding career in truck driving, now being offered by Paul D. Camp Community College. Registration now for this exciting opportunity that will allow students to attain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and earn a livable wage with benefits.

CDL certification qualifies a person for a number of different truck driving opportunities, including tractor trailer and long-haul driving. “The training will take place with experienced instructors on first-rate equipment in Emporia,” said Vice President of Workforce Development Randy Betz.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean wage for heavy and tractor trailer drivers in May 2015 was up to more than $40,000 a year in Virginia.

The 240-hour course will be held in Emporia and will be completed in a little more than a month. Classroom instruction will focus on map reading, trip planning and maintaining truck logs. Other course components include preventative maintenance, highway safety and handling hazardous materials. Inspections prior to trips and extensive maneuvering of the vehicle will also be covered.

Prospective students must be at least 18 years old and possess a valid Virginia driver’s license. Additionally, the following is required one week prior to the start of classes:

• To provide a copy of their driving record

• To pass a Department of Transportation physical exam

• To pass a drug test and agree to future testing during the course of the program

• To possess a CDL-A learner’s permit

“Program graduates have a very high CDL pass rate and job placement rate with participating companies,” said Betz.

This program falls under the Workforce Credentials Grant and the first session runs from Nov. 7 through Dec. 17. The following two sessions are also slated during 2017: May 8 through June 15, and July 17 through Aug. 24. Students are eligible for financial aid to enroll in this training. Registration is underway. For more information, contact Betz at 569-6064.