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Truck driving program now offered in Lawrence County


A four-week truck driver training program is now available in Lawrence County thanks to a new partnership between Southern State Community College (SSCC) and the Ohio Strategic Training Center, Inc. (OSTC), located at the Point Industrial Park, South Point.

An information session will be 3:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, at the OSTC office, 216 Collins Ave., South Point. Representatives from the training center and the Truck Driving Academy will be on hand to answer questions.

“We are pleased to announce the newest location for Southern State’s TDA program,” said John Joy, SSCC Dean of Workforce Development and Community Service. “The partnership agreement will be beneficial to all those who are interested in pursuing truck driving as a viable and financially rewarding career option.”

The Class A CDL and Class B CDL program requires 160 classroom hours for completion and can be attained in either a four-week or eight-week format. The four-week program is offered daytime hours Monday through Friday, while the eight-week program is offered on Saturdays. New class groups begin on a two-week, pre-arranged schedule. All of the coursework for the program will be offered by Southern State TDA instructors at the OSTC in South Point.

“We are extremely pleased to be partnering with Southern State to bring the Truck Driving Academy to the Lawrence County area,” said Scott Howard, OSTC executive director. “Southern State’s Truck Driving Academy is well known and respected throughout Ohio and the region.”

In a recent report by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Ohio Gov. John Kasich said that Ohio had a net gain of 43,000 jobs in 2011 and the types of jobs the administration thinks will be most in demand in Ohio over the next few years are engineers, computer scientists, machinists, long-distance truck drivers, diesel mechanics and welders.

“With the economic downturn I saw lots of jobs going away, and I knew I wanted job security,” said Teddy Hill, a recent TDA graduate. “When I researched I found that truck driving is a very secure industry. I had always been interested in driving, so I enrolled at the Truck Driving Academy. I had a great experience with the training program. The program and instruction are very thorough, and I had a job even before I graduated. The TDA gave me everything I needed to be prepared for this industry. I am now finished with my initial company training and beginning my new career. I would recommend the TDA to anyone considering this field.”

The course begins with learning essential driving skills, regulations, safety, and basic mechanical systems. Students then move into the truck for realistic exercises on a closed course.

As confidence is gained, students will drive on low-traffic roadways and city streets with tractor-trailer combinations, advance to road driving, combine classroom instruction with driving skills, refine knowledge, and practice on controlled courses designed to help increase confidence on the open road.

During the last week of training, students will fine-tune driving, routing and paperwork skills, and learn advanced shifting techniques and handling a rig under differing road conditions. Students will be able to complete runs on congested city throughways, handle common roadside mechanical repairs, and shift like a professional.

Students then go through a thorough review and practice test before taking the actual Commercial Driver’s License exam.

“I had never even driven a standard before, so when I got behind the wheel of those big trucks, I had a little trouble shifting,” said TDA graduate Marcus Burns. “It didn’t matter. My instructors were patient. They gave me tips and worked with me. I practiced, and I passed my CDL the first time. I noticed that they are willing to give everyone who needs it extra practice time. They have the experience to be able to give you the answers. These guys care about their students and want them to be successful.”

For more information, please contact Scott Howard at 740-377-4550 or via email at scott@ohiotraining.net.

To apply to Southern State’s TDA, please call 1-800-628-7722, ext. 4560, or email TDA@sscc.edu.