CLEARFIELD – The Clearfield County Career & Technology Center is making it easier for people to obtain their commercial driver license in a step toward obtaining a better, family-sustaining career. The school is also reaching out to 18-year-olds interested in becoming a truck driver after high school.
The truck driver training program will begin offering a part-time truck driver training class to be held in the evenings and Saturdays, beginning in late October. Students will be able to attend class Monday through Friday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and on Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Students should expect to become licensed and receive their graduation certificate in six weeks.
“We have had many requests for evening or weekend classes, mostly from people who are already working but want to change careers, or people who are unemployed but stay at home during the day to care for children while their spouse works,” said Julie Benamati, the program’s recruiter.
“This is an opportunity for that demographic of potential students interested in becoming professional truck drivers an alternative option.”
The 180-hour class will provide the student with the basic truck driving skills needed to obtain entry-level employment in an industry that remains in very high demand. Students must obtain their commercial driver learner permit from the state Department of Transportation prior to the first day of class. Assistance with obtaining the permit can be done at no additional cost through the school’s cyber distance learning capabilities.
Students are required to have an acceptable driving history and criminal background check as well as pass a pre-employment screening drug test to be eligible for admission. Tuition is $4,500. Some financial aid is available for qualified students.
The first evening class is scheduled to start on Monday, Oct. 22, Benamati said.
Another change that the school is adopting is the acceptance of 18-year-old students into the Class A and B training programs. In the past, the school required students to be 21 years old. Drivers under age 21 years are not permitted by federal law to drive a commercial vehicle out of their home state, which traditionally kept young people from obtaining traditional over-the-road driving jobs.
“Due to the high demand for drivers on a local level, CCCTC accepted a handful of 18-year-old students this past summer into the Class A program,” Benamati explained. “Not only were these young men excellent students and talented drivers, they were also able to secure employment that did not require them to drive over state lines.”
Recent high school graduates are encouraged to consider commercial truck driving as a future career.
For more information about the commercial truck driver training programs available at CCCTC, please call 765-3453 or visit www.ccctc.org.