February 20, 2014
Blinn College – Schulenburg wants to help Texas meet its need for commercial truck drivers.
The campus will host an open house from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. March 3 for prospective students interested in obtaining a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Representatives from Elite Trucking and Rural Area Capital Workforce Solutions will be on hand to provide information and answer questions.
Pending sufficient interest, Blinn – Schulenburg plans to hold the first course in April.
The American Trucking Association estimates the industry is now short 30,000 drivers as federal regulations have cut the time drivers can spend behind the wheel.
“There’s a big need for truck drivers here with the Eagle Ford Shale in the south and the crossroad of Highway 77 and Interstate-10 running through here,” said Loraine Orellana, Blinn – Schulenburg’s coordinator for distance and community education.
The course includes 60 hours of classroom and lab work and 140 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction. With the help of Rural Capital Workforce Solutions, students may qualify for a grant that covers the cost of the course.
To qualify for a CDL, applicants must be at least 18 to drive in-state or 21 to drive out of state, pass a Department of Transportation physical and drug test, maintain a good driving record and have a valid Class C license. Students who qualify will receive their CDL permit the first week of class.
The average starting salary for truck drivers is $35,000 and there is room for advancement as a dispatcher, recruiter or manager.
Blinn – Schulenburg offers a variety of academic transfer, workforce training and continuing education classes to fit the needs of any student. For information on course offerings and student registration, visit: www.blinn.edu/schulenburg or call 979-743-5237.