HAMLET, N.C. . — Richmond Community College in Hamlet, North Carolina, is expanding its Truck Driver Training program into Montgomery County, North Carolina, thanks to a partnership with Montgomery Community College (MCC).
“We at MCC are very proud to be able to work together with Richmond Community College to expand this training into our county,” said Dr. Chad Bledsoe, president of MCC. “It’s going to meet the needs of both our employers and potential employees, and it’s just one example of how community colleges can partner together to serve our communities.”
Bledsoe noted how vital the trucking industry is both on a local level and national level.
“We need people to keep this industry going, and without truck drivers we wouldn’t have the goods and services we need,” Bledsoe said.
Dr. Dale McInnis, president of Richmond Community College, explained how the program will use resources from his school, including 18-wheelers and instructors, for the class in Montgomery County.
“We saw an opportunity to support our friends here in Montgomery County. It makes no sense to replicate high-cost programs when we have existing equipment that will satisfy the demand,” McInnis said.
The nine-week training program at MCC will begin Oct. 23. The class will run from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
Training includes classroom lecture, range driving and road driving. The cost of the program will be $999 for MCC students.
“You compare that price to what’s happening across the rest of the state or with private companies, which are charging three to four times that amount. We can only do that because of the support from our friends in the General Assembly and the leadership from people like Sen. Dave Craven,” McInnis said.
The senator was at a recent ceremony at MCC to show his support for this partnership between the two institutions.
“I want to thank Dr. Bledsoe and Dr. McInnis for the hard work they put into this initiative. This is going to be a great avenue for putting more truck drivers on the road, continuing to move North Carolina forward,” Craven said.
Richmond Community College started its own truck driver training program in Scotland County a year ago. It has graduated four classes that each had 100% enrollment, 100% completion and 100% passage rate on the CDL exam.
The program now includes a Class B Commercial Driver’s License, which will provide people with the license to drive over-sized vehicles, such as straight truck, box trucks and dump trucks with small trailers. That class kicked off Oct. 2 in Scotland County, North Carolina.
Born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and raised in East Texas, John Worthen returned to his home state to attend college in 1998 and decided to make his life in The Natural State. Worthen is a 20-year veteran of the journalism industry and has covered just about every topic there is. He has a passion for writing and telling stories. He has worked as a beat reporter and bureau chief for a statewide newspaper and as managing editor of a regional newspaper in Arkansas. Additionally, Worthen has been a prolific freelance journalist for two decades, and has been published in several travel magazines and on travel websites.