February 25, 2021 - 12:31pm
Pearl River Community College has implemented a new Commercial Truck Driving (CDL) program designed to prepare individuals to drive trucks and other commercial vehicles.
CDL is a four-week program based at the Lowery Woodall Advanced Technology Center in Hattiesburg.
Instruction includes operating diesel-powered vehicles, loading and unloading cargo, reporting delays or accidents on the road, verifying loads against shipping records, and maintaining necessary records. Applicants may earn a Certificate of Completion from workforce training and have the opportunity to receive a Class A CDL license.
“This is an opportunity for someone to learn a skill they enjoy and they can earn above-average wages,” said Paul Shelby, the program instructor. “There is a demand for drivers with a CDL. With experience and a good driving record, the pay potential is above average.”
Shelby spent 34 years driving for Georgia Pacific Chemical, and some 40 years overall, where he logged more than three million miles driving mostly in the southeast United States.
Requirements for the PRCC program include a Department of Transportation physical and drug screen, a Class A learner’s permit, a valid driver’s license, driving history report and take the WorkKeys test.
Rebecca Brown, PRCC’s Dean of Workforce and Community Development, said the truck-driving program fulfills a much-needed demand for moving products, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There is a vital need for truck drivers as essential workers at the heart of our national supply chain,” said Brown. “This program prepares drivers to connect with opportunities in both local and over-the-road driving careers at better-than-average wages.”
Shelby, a Taylorsville native, said he got hooked on truck driving when he was in a transportation unit of the National Guard. He is currently teaching the second class of students at PRCC.
“I went through truck-driving school at Fort Polk (La.),” he said. “I was hooked. This job is a great opportunity to teach people a skill that I always enjoyed.”
PRCC was able to purchase the truck and trailer using federal CARES Act funding allocated to community colleges by the Mississippi state legislature.
PRCC’s main campus in Poplarville also offers Commercial Truck Driving. It’s a four-week instructional program that prepares individuals to drive trucks and other commercial vehicles.
The PRCC Workforce Education Department is located at the Woodall Advanced Technology Center, 906 Sullivan Drive, Hattiesburg. To learn more about the CDL program, and other Wildcat Workforce opportunities, call 601-554-4646 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.