Fifteen New Truck Drivers Ready to Hit the Road

Fifteen students received certificates for completing the nine-week program that is a collaborative effort between SCC and Caldwell Community College. From, left to right: Mark Collins, Robert Bowman, Leonard Lamothe Jr., Sandra Martin, Danny Turner, Judy Coe, Kenneth Marion, Randy Holt, John Combs, Randall Henry, Stephen Potts, Travis Lineberry and Drake Groce. Not pictured, Jason Sapp and Mark Sparks.

Graduates of Surry Community College’s new Truck Driver Training Program were recognized in a recent graduation ceremony at The Yadkin Center.

Fifteen students received certificates for completing the nine-week program that is a collaborative effort between SCC and Caldwell Community College. Roger Chester, Truck Driver Training Director, welcomed the audience and introduced guest speaker Daren Cave of Hardy Brothers.

“We are huge fans of Surry Community College’s Truck Driver Training Program and feel strongly about the quality of the curriculum and the caliber of the trainers and administrators involved,” said Cave, who is the Safety Director at Hardy Brothers, a 50-year-old company based in Siloam, N.C. “Overall the trucking industry has a great need for drivers and to have a program this close to home will be a great resource to Hardy Brothers. We are very excited about the future and plan to make some donations to the program soon. We want to be good partners of this program and look forward to its continued success.”

Certificates were awarded to the following graduates: Robert Bowman of Pilot Mountain; Judy Coe, Mark Collins, Randy Holt and Jason Sapp of Mount Airy; John Combs of Ronda; Drake Groce and Mark Sparks of Jonesville; Randall Henry of Winston-Salem; Leonard Lamothe Jr. of Millers Creek; Travis Lineberry of Boonville; Kenneth Marion of Ararat; Sandra Martin of North Wilkesboro; and Stephen Potts and Danny Turner of Hamptonville.

Four additional Truck Driving Training classes have been planned with orientation dates on Sept. 18, 2014; Nov. 20, 2014; Feb. 17, 2015; and April 28, 2015. Classes will start on Oct. 14, 2014; Jan. 7, 2015; March 17, 2015; and May 27, 2015. Classes are held Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Truck Driver Training Program was announced in March of 2014 to answer the demand for truck drivers.

“There are currently job openings for truck drivers locally and nationally. We developed this program as a direct response to the requests from local truck driving representatives who need skilled applicants to fill job vacancies,” said SCC President Dr. David Shockley.

With a shortage of up to 15,000 truck drivers in North Carolina and as many as 200,000 nationally, CDL-certified drivers will easily be able to find jobs. The U.S. Department of Labor says the profession is expected to keep growing – by 11 percent during 2012-2022.

This new Truck Driver Training Program is a revamp of a truck driving program that SCC used to have through a private company. SCC is offering the new program during the day at The Yadkin Center.

“Since we were able to offer this new truck driving program through a partnership with Caldwell Community College, we are able to charge community college tuition instead of the class fees being set by a private vendor,” Shockley said.

Tuition for North Carolina residents is only $1,882 whereas fees through a private vendor could be up to $3,500.

Median pay for truck drivers is $38,200 per year, according to the United States Department of Labor. Drivers with experience can make more than $50,000. Initially, the program will be offered during the day, but evening and weekend classes will be scheduled to meet demand in the future.

The SCC Truck Driver Training Program teaches proper driving procedures, safe driver responsibility, commercial motor vehicle laws and regulations, and the basic principles and practices for operating commercial vehicles. The coursework includes motor vehicle laws and regulations, map reading, vehicle maintenance, safety procedures, daily logs, defensive driving, freight handling, security and fire protection.

Highway driving training exercises and classroom lectures are used to develop the student’s knowledge and skills. Graduates are qualified to take the Commercial Driver’s License Test and are employable by commercial trucking firms. They may also become owner-operators and work as private contract haulers.

Special admission requirements include official driving record; physical examination; reading placement test score of 40 or higher; disclosure form; high school transcript; and drug testing.

For more information about SCC’s Truck Driver Training program, contact Dr. Wayne Matthews at (336) 386-3584 or matthewsw@surry.edu. To view pictures of the graduation or training, please go to www.facebook.com/surrycommunitycollege.

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