Surry Community College’s Truck Driver Program held its 16th graduation ceremony recently at The Yadkin Center. All totaled, 159 students have completed the program that “is placing graduates right into jobs with recruiters attending the graduations,” according to the schools.
During the ceremony, Instructor Jake Rhodes spoke about the students’ work ethic while taking the course and the available career opportunities in truck driving.
Roger Chester, director of the Truck Driver Training Program, told graduates how his life had been positively impacted by his truck driving career and how he hoped the graduates would have similar experiences. Yadkin Center Director Dr. Wayne Matthews also spoke and stressed the importance of developing safe driving habits and being ambassadors of the program.
Ten students received certificates for completing the nine-week program that is a collaborative effort between the college and Caldwell Community College. Certificates were awarded to the following graduates: Daniel Dalton, Christian Tadlock, and Jacob Parr of Mount Airy; Cameron Stanley of Dobson; Daniel Moser of Cana, Virginia; David Bechard of Elkin; Donni Casanova of Roaring River; Christopher Huysman of Sparta; and Christa Butner and Kenneth Zimmerman of Yadkinville.
The next set of classes starts July 23 and runs through Sept. 25 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Admission requirements include official driving record; physical examination; reading placement test score of 40 or higher; disclosure form; high school transcript; and drug testing.
“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 college said in a written statement. “The U.S. Department of Labor says the profession is expected to keep growing – by 11 percent during 2012-2022.”
“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 Surry Community College President Dr. David Shockley.
Tuition for North Carolina residents is $1,882.
“Median pay for truck drivers is $38,200 per year, according to the United States Department of Labor,” the college said. “Drivers with experience can make more than $50,000.”
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 students’ 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.
For more information about the school’s Truck Driver Training Program, contact Dr. Wayne Matthews at (336) 386-3584 or [email protected]