Four students recently graduated from the Blinn College District Professional Truck Driving Program with certificates recognizing that they have acquired the skills necessary to earn their commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs).
Daniel H. Berg III, James C. Drumgoole, Anthony G. Turcic, and Gene R. White each completed the program to prepare for employment in a high-demand field that is experiencing a worker shortage.
“As we’ve learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, truck drivers are critical and essential to the infrastructure of our community,” said Karla Flanagan, Dean of the Division of Technical and Community Education. “Because of the invaluable service they provide, most of our graduates complete our focused, four-week program with jobs already lined up.”
Blinn’s Professional Truck Driving Program consists of two courses, during which students learn to conduct pre-trip, on-the-road, and post-trip vehicle and equipment inspections. Other skills include map reading, managing log books and cargo documentation, dispatch procedures, emergency responsibilities, and regulations of transportation agencies.
Students study road safety guidelines and specific laws applicable to professional drivers. At the conclusion of the program, instructors accompany students to the CDL testing facility.
“I realized during the pandemic that the one profession that did not stop working was truck driving,” said Anthony Turcic, a student from Bryan. “In fact, my job is already guaranteed with a local company.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers is approximately $21.76 per hour, or $45,260 per year.
Truck driving courses run concurrently and are held 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Monday-Friday, at the new Agricultural and Workforce Education Complex at the RELLIS Campus. The total cost of the program is $4,995.
The Professional Truck Driving Program is part of Blinn’s Division of Technical and Community Education, which includes courses designed to provide students with the knowledge and ability they need to enter the workforce immediately after completion. Many of these classes do not require a high school diploma and enrollment is fast and easy. For non-credit courses, students do not need to go through the College’s admissions process to enroll. Programs vary in length and are offered with daytime, evening, and weekend options.
Business owners can enroll their employees in technical and community education courses using Texas Workforce Commission Skills Development for Small Business funds, and Blinn staff can help businesses complete the request form. Blinn also offers students access to scholarships through the Blinn College Foundation, private grants, and Workforce Solutions.
In addition to Blinn’s non-credit courses, the College recently launched four new Associate of Applied Science degrees in carpentry, facilities maintenance, HVAC, and water purification to create an additional entry way and even greater earning potential for students in the skilled trades.
To register for or view a schedule of upcoming classes, visit www.blinn.edu/workforce or call 979-209-7205.