HAMLET — Richmond Community College will hold a mandatory orientation for its fall truck driver training course at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 1, in room 130 of the Lindsey-Petris Building on the college’s main campus in Hamlet. This orientation session is the first step for people who want to get into the training class and begin a career in the trucking industry.
The 10-week program will be held Sept. 12 through Nov. 22. Class will meet from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The program provides classroom lecture followed by many practice sessions behind the wheel. Upon completion of the course, students will take the final road test for their commercial driver’s license at RichmondCC’s training facility. They will not have to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
“Taking truck driver training is one of the fastest ways to enter a new career field and start making good money in a relatively short time,” said Alvin Goins of Rockingham, who has been in the trucking industry for more than 20 years. “It is especially beneficial for people who have been laid off and are looking for a new type of employment. We also see a lot of ‘empty-nesters’ getting into truck driving. Often times these are husband-wife teams.”
The truck driving industry employs nearly 9 million people in trucking-related jobs. However, there is a growing shortage of drivers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has forecasted an 11 percent employment growth for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers from 2012-2022. As the economy grows, the demand for goods will increase, and more truck drivers will be needed to keep supply chains moving.
“Entry-level drivers are entering a demanding field where there is a premium placed on quality student drivers fresh out of training. In collaboration with Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute, we are able to provide that quality training at RichmondCC,” said Vice President of Workforce and Economic Development Robbie Taylor.
Cost of the training class is $1,882, plus additional fees. The class is approved for veterans’ benefits. Payment plans and WOIA assistance are also available.
Taylor said the college would work with individuals on paying for the class because the end result is worth it.
“Having a commercial driver’s license gives you a highly employable skill,” Taylor said. “Graduates from the truck driver training class can make on average $50,000 or more their first year and up to $60,000 or better with one year of experience.”
In order to qualify for the truck driver training program at RichmondCC, students must be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license with no limiting restrictions. Students must also be able to read and speak English well enough to take instructions from highway signs, converse with officials and complete the required reports. Completion of a physical and drug screening are also required prior to the first day of class.
Registration will be held Sept. 9 by appointment.
For more information about truck driver training at RichmondCC, call WED Programming Assistant Alicia Butler at (910) 410-1706 or email [email protected] More information can also be found on the college’s website, www.richmondcc.edu.
Wylie D. Bell is director of marketing and communications for Richmond Community College.