We all depend on truck drivers to deliver the food, fuel, and other goods we need and want. But, according to Global Insight, Inc., America currently has a shortage of 100,000 qualified truck drivers. Truckguage.com says that by the end of 2013, the deficit will be 200,000 drivers. The good news is that for those who wish to do their part to close this gap while earning excellent wages, KC’s Truck Driving Program is a great opportunity.
Becoming qualified to drive a tractor/trailer today is a complicated business. The safety certifications, hazmat training, differing load endorsements, CDL requirements and other regulations needed by today’s truck drivers have left some of the old ideas of “learn the gears and hit the road” in the dust. Truck drivers on the road now are expected to be trained professionals, and the pay scale reflects that. “Starting pay for truck drivers we graduate is between $30,000 and $70,000, with the average being around $38,000 per year” said Dean Daum, KC’s Director of the Truck Driver Training Program.
In fact, some of the higher paying companies, like the Gilster-Mary Lee Corporation, will only hire drivers from KC’s program, of all other area truck driving schools, according to Daum. “We require our students to earn all the endorsements,” Daum said, “doubles and triples, hazmat, and tankers. We are the only school in the area that requires hazmat endorsement. Because of the new regulations, companies only want to hire the cream of the crop.” This is reflected in how far some have come to learn at KC, with the program regularly enrolling students from as far away as Alton, Carbondale, and Olney, areas well outside the college district. Companies, 8-12 per class, present to the students in hopes of employing them after they complete KC’s training. With only six students per class, each is able to receive the individual attention they may need to master the various aspects of the training, with a guaranteed offer of employment to follow. KC’s program has a placement rate of 100%.
The Kaskaskia College Truck Driver Training Program offers classroom, in the cab, and on the job training, with an externship program that allows for students to hire on with a company and earn credits as they accumulate experience and miles on the road. The program offers two certificates: Truc 0505, which is a sixteen credit hour program, and Truc 0510, a twenty credit hour program that is eligible for financial aid.
Kaskaskia College will offer students the opportunity to earn a Class A Commercial Driver’s License with late-starting summer classes at the SCT Training Facility, 100 North Locust in Centralia. The CDL classes will be offered Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. starting on June 24 and ending on August 12.
Kaskaskia College will also offer students the opportunity to earn a Class A Commercial Driver’s License with late-starting summer classes at the East St. Louis Community College Center. The CDL classes will be offered Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm starting July 22 and ending on September 16.
For more information, or to register, please contact Dean M. Daum at 618-545-3310 or the Kaskaskia College Admissions Office at 618-545-3040.