At their quarterly meeting on February 7, the BRTC Board of Trustees approved a proposal to implement a 4-week Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) training program through the Pocahontas Corporate and Community Education department. The program has been developed in response to business and industry interest.
Class A, B, and C certifications will be available and endorsements will include hazardous materials, passenger vehicles, and school buses. The program is slated to begin in August.
“BRTC’s new CDL program represents one of the many ways the college serves the community and the state,” said BRTC Interim President Dr. Jan Ziegler, “by listening to its constituents and responding to their needs.”
Demand for CDL training is high, especially for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers, with transportation and material moving occupations projected to add 2,608 new jobs to the state economy over a 2-year period, representing an increase of 2.39 percent. Confirming the need is the fact that Wal-Mart recently announced plans to double its spending by the end of the year to recruit and retain drivers for its 6,500-truck private fleet. The company has also announced plans to raise driver’s salaries in order to attract more drivers.
This growing need is reflected also by local firms which depend on trucking, with five local firms providing letters of support for this new program.
“The board decided to offer the CDL training represents a major step forward to address a significant need,” said Dr. Ziegler.
For more information, contact Patti Blaxton at (870) 248-4181 or via email at Patti.Blaxton@blackrivertech.edu.