SANFORD, N.C. - "It has exceeded my expectations and is growing every day."
That is how Thomas "Lantz" Lackey responds to the success of the Central Carolina Community College Commercial Driver License (CDL) program. Lackey is the CCCC CDL Collaborative Lead Instructor.
The program is a regional workforce solution to the demand for commercial truck drivers in the combined service areas of Chatham, Harnett, Hoke, Lee, Moore, and Randolph counties. Central Carolina Community College is a part of the partnership along with Randolph Community College and Sandhills Community College.
The commercial truck driver course prepares students for the Class A Commercial Driver License. Instruction includes theory, and practical hands-on behind-the-wheel operation of tractor trailers preparing students to safely operate tractor trailer vehicles on the road to and from pickup and delivery points. Emphasis is placed on defensive driving, Federal Motor Carrier Safety regulations, trip planning, cargo handling, vehicle systems, hours of service, vehicle inspection, and accident prevention. Upon successful completion, students will be able to demonstrate the skills required for the commercial driver license and employment.
In the first four classes, 40 students started with 37 earning their completion certificate and 36 earned their CDL Class A license.
Among the graduates now working as a driver is Z'Niaya Short of Lillington. "I was looking to begin my truck driving career and wanted to join a good program and I couldn't be more happy with my decision to join the truck driving program that CCCC offered," said Short.
"My absolute favorite thing I enjoyed about the program was applying everything that was being taught to me during theory and our classroom curriculum to my live actions behind the wheel," said Short.
"My experience with the CCCC truck driving program was absolutely amazing," she said. "They were truly dedicated to seeing me succeed and encouraged me every step of the way. And this did not just apply to me, but every one of my classmates as well. We all received the very same treatment and encouragement. I couldn't ask for a more passionate, encouraging, knowledgeable, and dedicated group of educators. I feel not only lucky, but honored, to have had them as my instructor and to have successfully graduated from CCCC truck driving program."
Another of the program graduates is Emanuel Raines, of Lillington, who can now drive Class A vehicles for his employer.
"The program was mandatory through my employer and I also wanted to obtain my Class A License for career advancement," said Raines. "I enjoyed the instructors, meeting new people and learning how to drive, control and navigate Class A vehicles."
Rains had praise for the CCCC program. "It's a good program that provides you with the opportunity to make a difference with a career in transportation," said Rains. "I recommend the program because being a professional trucker can be a very lucrative career."
Darrell McLaurin, CCCC CDL Collaborative Program Coordinator, recommends that people who may be interested in the program be "open minded, have a determined mindset, and the willingness to learn." He adds, "Most people are attracted to this program seeking a career change, to travel the U.S., or the advertised starting compensation."
Scholarships may be available.
A Commercial Driver License Permit (Class A) is required to register for the CDL course. A prep class is designed to help students who do not have the required permit. Upcoming dates for the prep class are Feb. 13-15, 2024, and July 23-25, 2024. The CDL class dates are Jan. 8 - March 18, 2024, April 1 - June 10, 2024, and Sept. 9 - Nov. 15, 2024.
Those who would like to register for a class need to contact Kelly Dehring at (919) 718-7080 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Those who would like to get more information can contact Junious Surles at (919) 718-7072 or by email at email@example.com.
Short says that the instructors and counselors want you to succeed and they will do everything in their power to ensure that you will. "I put my faith in them and in myself -- and it was the best decision I could've ever made," she said.
For more information, visit nctruckdriving.com.
The Central Carolina Community College commercial truck driving course is part of a program that serves as a regional workforce solution to the demand for commercial truck drivers in the combined service areas of Chatham, Harnett, Hoke, Lee, Moore, and Randolph counties.
Students and instructors were pictured during a recent class session of the Central Carolina Community College commercial truck driving course.
Gilbert Riojas shows what it is like sitting in the cab of one of the trucks used in the Central Carolina Community College commercial truck driving course.