In just more than a year, Vance-Granville Community College’s truck driver training class has held three graduations, a fourth class is underway and a fifth is scheduled to begin soon.
The class prepares students to become eligible for a Class A Commercial Driver’s License, which is what drivers need to become truck drivers.
“VGCC continues to be extremely proud of all of our CDL program graduates and their continued success in finding gainful employment in the trucking industry,” said Kyle Burwell, VGCC’s director of occupational extension.
The program includes a combination of classroom instruction, range driving and road driving, and culminates in taking the exams required by the Department of Transportation (DOT).
One of the 14 graduates in the most recent class is Sherell Smothers of Franklinton. According to VGCC, Smothers said she enrolled in the program because she had long dreamed of starting her own small business with multiple commercial vehicles. “My first day on the range, shifting gears, I wanted to give up, but I thank God for my instructors – encouraging me to continue to push forward,” Smothers recalled. “Every day I attended class, I knew that something would be rewarding at the end.” Now, Smothers has her reward. She is now her own “boss,” as owner and operator of Legacy Tranzport, LLC.
The next orientation session on Monday, July 19, at 10 a.m. and all students enrolled in the program must attend this session. The nine-week program will run from Aug. 9 through Oct. 12.
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.
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).
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