WILMINGTON, N.C. — On Aug. 7, Cape Fear Community College (CFCC) celebrated a milestone for 19 students as they successfully graduated from the school’s truck-driver training program. Truck-driver training, formerly a curriculum program at the college, is now part of the school’s continuing education division, making it a more affordable and accessible option for prospective students.
The truck-driver training program prepares students to drive tractor-trailers rigs, teaching them proper driving procedures, safe driver responsibility, commercial motor-vehicle laws and regulations, and the basic principles and practices for operating commercial vehicles. Graduates of the program are qualified to take the commercial driver’s license (CDL) exam and gain employment with commercial trucking companies. They may also choose to become owner-operators and work as private-contract haulers.
“You see it everywhere: ‘Truck Drivers Wanted,’” said John Downing, vice president of economic and workforce development at CFCC. “It’s a privilege to train individuals for this in-demand trade, and we take pride in not only training individuals to obtain their CDL, but also building character and confidence in our students.”
One of the program’s recent graduates, Arthur Morgan, had a Class B license and was driving box trucks for a Baltimore-based nonprofit when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. He decided to use additional downtime caused by the pandemic to pursue a truck-driver training certificate from CFCC and apply for a Class A CDL.
Morgan said he was motivated by the trucking industry’s perpetual job opportunities and flexibility as well as by the CFCC program’s reputation and affordability, and that he was confident in his investment. Through the program’s evening class option, he was able to manage a day job till take classes. In less than 10 weeks’ time, Morgan learned to successfully maneuver a 53-ft tractor-trailer and obtained his Class A CDL.
“The first week, you’re like a scared child behind the wheel of a 53-ft tractor-trailer,” he said. “Then, once you graduate — your head’s big now and you’re a confident, grown man!”
The next CFCC truck-driver training class with available space begins Sept. 3. For additional class dates, registration information and costs, click here.