Since opening the Truck Driver Training School in 1996, Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) has enrolled almost 2,800 students, and 85% of those have completed the six-week course to earn the commercial driver’s license. SVCC operates at three locations in Virginia — Pickett Park in Blackstone, South Boston and Emporia.
There are about 70 trucking companies that actively recruit the graduates, and many will graduate one day and go to work the next. The average salary for beginning trained drivers is between $40,000 and $55,000 with benefits.
Course work includes motor vehicle laws and regulations, safety procedures, daily logs, vehicle maintenance, security and fire protection, defensive driving, freight handling, highway driving and map reading and trip planning. Training range exercises and classroom lectures are used to develop the student’s knowledge and skills.
“Our graduates do a great job of staying in touch. They are constantly calling, texting, emailing and even dropping by in their rigs to let us know about their wonderful experiences in the trucking profession. All of us at the Truck Driver Training School are honored to be able to play even a small part in sharing with their success,” said C. Duncan Quicke, coordinator of SVCC Truck Driver Training School.
Currently, SVCC is working with Danville Community College and Patrick Henry Community College to offer this training to their students at the South Boston site. Tuition is $4,500, but the FastForward Credentialing Program may help pay tuition for qualifying Virginians, and other scholarships are available.
Upcoming classes in Blackstone are Sept. 9 through Oct. 17, and Nov. 4 through Dec. 11 and in South Boston Sept. 16 through Oct. 24 and Nov. 18 through Dec. 18.
For information, call Susan Early at 434-292-3101.