Students in the CDL program offered at the Alabama Aviation College, a unit of Enterprise State Community College, receive both written and on-the-road training that will lead them toward a successful career in the trucking industry.
The six-week Class A CDL license program was brought to the AAC campus in Fall 2018 to address the need for drivers locally and across the state. The first three students completed the program on Dec. 13, 2018. To date, 75 students have completed the program.
The program, led by Odie Thompson and Kemmie Williams, begins in the classrooms and ends with students receiving hands-on training using trailers donated by Transport Trailer Center and Wiley Sanders Truck Lines. Throughout the six weeks, students study various facets of the trucking industry, like safety in and around trucks and compliance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations.
“During the six weeks of our program, we start out with initial classroom activities that include pre-trip inspection instruction; Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse rules; hours of service regulations; extreme weather driving; backing techniques; and Truckers Against Trafficking, as mandated by the State of Alabama,” Williams said. “We move out onto the skill field and begin practicing some of the techniques we learn in the classroom. The last three weeks, we begin highway driving and continue to work on our pre-trip inspections and backing skills.”
With ESCC’s Class A CDL training, students are able to operate an 18 wheeler (tractor trailer), a tank vehicle, livestock carrier, flatbed and other vehicles with a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds.
During the six weeks, every student also has the opportunity to meet with recruiters for businesses in need of drivers. By the end of the program, each ESCC CDL student receives at least one job offer either from a recruiter or through a company of his or her choice.
According to Williams, trucking jobs are at “an all-time high,” with many companies offering great pay and benefit packages to their employees, including health insurance, tuition reimbursement and continuing education opportunities. He said many of these companies are locally headquartered or have local terminals.
The cost to participate in the program is $3,500, but students can contact their local Alabama Career Center to ask about eligibility for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funding to cover 100 percent of the cost of the program.
The next six-week class starts Monday, Sept. 21, and applications are being taken now. To join the program, complete the online application at escc.edu/cdl or contact Assistant Financial Aid Director Laticia Dubose at (334) 347-2623 ext. 3610 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cutline: Since the first class began, 75 students have completed the CDL program, and every student in each class has received a job offer. The next class begins on Sept. 21.
About Enterprise State Community College
Enterprise State Community College is a comprehensive community college that serves more than 1,800 students annually between its Enterprise campus and the Alabama Aviation Colleges in Andalusia and Ozark. Each campus and site currently fulfill the Alabama Community College System’s mission for education and training which leads to high-wage, high-demand jobs in integral careers worldwide. Students can obtain Associate degrees and certificates through multiple programs at the college.