RCC to offer truck driver training

Training to take place in Rockingham; program open to veterans

Through a partnership with Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute (CCCTI), Richmond Community College (RCC) will begin offering truck driver training this fall through its Workforce and Economic Development (WED) Division.

The truck driver training program at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute started in 1990 with one truck and a few students. Today the program has over 70 pieces of equipment and has graduated over 2,000 CDL drivers in the past 10 years.

The truck driver training program at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute started in 1990 with one truck and a few students. Today the program has over 70 pieces of equipment and has graduated over 2,000 CDL drivers in the past 10 years.

RCC’s Vice President for WED Robbie Taylor presented the plan for the training Tuesday night at the August meeting of the RCC Board of Trustees. Dr. Dale McInnis, RCC president, made mention of the new program Monday at the Richmond County commissioners’ public meeting in Rockingham.

“Caldwell (Community College and Technical Institute) is known statewide for its truck driver training,” said Taylor, “ and we are fortunate to be able to partner with them to offer this certificate to our students.”

CCCTI has been offering truck driver training since 1990 and has graduated more than 2,000 CDL drivers in the last 10 years. The program is certified by the Professional Truck Driving Institute (PTDI) located in Alexandria, Va. PTDI is the first non-profit organization to develop uniform skills performance, curriculum and certification standards for the trucking industry and to award course certification to entry-level truck driver finishing programs.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) supports the PTDI curriculum as representing the basis for adequate training of entry-level drivers.

According to RCC President Dr. Dale McInnis, the training will be taking place at Superior Crane’s facility on Highway 74 west of Rockingham.

The program has been approved for veteran’s benefits.

The cost of the eight and a half week program is $2,000.

“The cost is very competitive compared to some of the other ones offered in the state,” said Taylor. “We have seen them cost students as much $3,100 for the training.”

Taylor also updated the board on the College’s pharmacy technician program, which will run a hybrid (both in class and online instructional deliver) course this fall. Additionally, WED is offering NCCER certifications in electrical and plumbing for the first time this fall.

SACS Reaccreditation

McInnis reported the results of the College’s reaccreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Colleges (SACSCOC). The school received full reaccreditation without follow up.

“There are a lot of colleges that do not have receive full accreditation or reaccreditation without any follow up,” McInnis said. “This is a testament to the hard work of people on our campus. It was truly a campus-wide effort.”

Mary Ellen Kindley Fitness Trail

In other action, the trustees approved the naming of the fitness trail to be built at RCC. The trail will be named in honor of Mary Ellen Kindley. The board proposed the name at its June meeting, but by policy, any naming action must be tabled for consideration for at least one month.

“We have a great deal of support coming in for the Mary Ellen Kindley Fitness trail,” McInnis said. “This project will soon become a reality and we are very appreciative of any contributions.”

Other action

The board also heard on update on a Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College

and Career Training (TAACCCT) Program grant application on RCC’s behalf from Grants Director Dr. Cynthia Reeves. The grant focuses on expanding the College’s offerings to train students for careers in the electric utility industry.

Executive Vice President Brent Barbee gave an update on the final phase of the Forte Building renovation.

“The machining shop and the welding shop are wrapping up,” Barbee said. “We have new welding booths in place and the walls have been painted with an epoxy to resist the rigors of the welding process. For the first time, that lab now has air conditioning. I believe it is the finest welding shop you will find anywhere in the state.”

According to Barbee, the machine shop has freshly painted walls and a newly epoxied floor in addition to a new HVAC system.

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  • http://peedeepost.com Trucker

    I’m glad to see a program of this type come to Ricmond County. Back in 1964 when I started driving, the company put me with an experienced driver who showed me very little and I had to learn by the seat of my pants. We were running all over the lower 48, mostly coast to coast. I was single and didn’t mind staying out for weeks at a time. It was easy to get a CDL (chauffeurs license ) back then and some drivers had as many as 15 licences from different states. Some of the larger trucking companies like Swift, Werner, Schneder, and others will hire you at no cost. They will assign you to class and a driver trainer. After classes on the basics and rules and regulations, the student will go out , running cross country with the trainer for hands on experience. They will even get your CDL for you. No money up front and no tuition. The student has only to sign a contract stating that they will stay with the company for a minimum of one year. Once you have that one or two years experience and a clean driving record, they can write their own ticket as far as who they want to work for.

    But a word of advice. The student should be aware that trucking, especially the long distance runners, is a very stressful life. Staying out 2 to 3 weeks at a time just doesn’t cut it when they have a family and kids involved and it ends up in divorce or the driver giving up his/her job to rectify things on the home front. So many are disillusioned as to thinking that trucking is a glorius way of making a living until they have to start running the northeast, which is a nightmare. I’m talking about having to lay over in the South Bronx or metro Los Angeles , as well as other large cities. I advise the prospective truckers to talk with an old head trucker that has been out there for years. They can really give some insight into what the student will experience Do the research before signing on the dotted line. It may just change your mind about pursuing trucking as a job.

  • http://peedeepost.com Trucker

    One more thing which I forgot to mention in my first comment. CCCTI gave it’s estimate of 2000 graduating students since 1990, At a cost between $2100 to $3000 that’s a lot of money for a “wannabe” future trucker. Of the CCTI graduates, I wonder just how many of those dropped out of the driver course before and after completing their training. , which they had paid for, after making only one or two trips without the trainer beside them helping out. There’s a lot of trouble to get into when out there driving solo without the trainer and even with one. I had the misfortune of witnessing a fully loaded big truck lose control while going over Donner Pass (westbound) on I80 in CA. This pass is notorious for wrecks. The student was driving and the trainer was in the sleeper. From the summit, it’s 23 miles straight downhill into Sacremento, CA. The young student lost control of his truck and crashed , going over a guard rail. The trainer had no business letting the student try the maneuver by himself and should have been in the front seat with him as required by federal law anytime a student is driving. Both were killed. These companies have no idea how many of their graduates drop out of the trucking industry after just a few trips. The training companies are in it for the money and nothing else. Once the trainers are thru with their jobs they say goodbye and “heaven help” the young graduates. Many are killed before they have the chance to resign or look for a job other than driving a truck. There is a huge turnover of personnel in the industry and companies are begging for drivers. That should tell you something. The pay is low, the away from home expenses are high (eating on the road), etc. The truckstops are nothing but “ripoff” joints and before they know it, the inexperienced drivers are asking for advances on their pay checks. And guess what that leads to. So if you want to be a driver, then shell out the big bucks for limited training. Go out and make a few solo trips (northeast and CA especially) and you may possibly park the truck at a truckstop and call the company to come and “get it.” And in closing I’ll say that trucking definitely ain’t for those who get “homesick” easily.

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