In its short time at Vance-Granville Community College, the Truck Driver Training program continues to put the pedal to the metal by graduating its fourth class of drivers eligible to obtain their Class A commercial driver’s licenses.
A fifth class began Aug. 9 and the next is set to crank up on October 11. The nine-week program includes a combination of classroom instruction, range driving and road driving. When the students successfully complete the class they are eligible for the CDL and therefore fully employable as truck drivers..
“This is the fourth graduating class of CDL-A since we started the program back in February of 2020,” said Kyle Burwell, director of occupational extension for VGCC. “This group has endured many days of high heat and humidity, as they worked to learn all the truck driving skills needed to obtain their CDL-A license.”
Burwell said a variety of employers visited the students to discuss employment opportunities over the nine weeks that class was in session. CDL truck driver training continues to be a very popular program, and early registration is highly encouraged for those who want to participate in future classes, he said.
Cristina Hernández of Kittrell is a new graduate. “Participating in the CDL Truck Driver Training class at VGCC has made me very proud and given me the tools I need to succeed in the workforce,” Hernández said. “I am especially grateful for my awesome instructors, my wonderful family, and all of those that supported me through this class. I am excited for my future!” Hernández is also a graduate of Vance County Early College High School, a partnership of VGCC and Vance County Schools.
The October class has a mandatory orientation session on Monday, Sept. 20 at 10 a.m. The class runs from Oct. 11 through Dec. 16.
To enroll in the program, students must be at least 18 years old, have a valid North Carolina driver’s license, and be able to read and speak English well enough to take instructions from highway signs, to converse with officials, and to complete the required reports.
For those who qualify, there are opportunities for scholarships to partially defray the costs of tuition and fees.
The program, certified by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI), is considered essential to meeting the needs of many companies who need drivers to move goods across the country. Local employers have shown strong support for VGCC’s program and have spoken to students about job opportunities. The college offers the program in collaboration with Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute (CCC&TI).