SANFORD - "This is definitely a life changing opportunity."
That's how Victor Torres, the primary instructor in Central Carolina Community College's Certified Drivers License (CDL) program, described the continuing education course that is being held at the Emergency Services Training Center in Sanford. The program is held in conjunction with the Carolina Trucking Academy of Raleigh.
Each session of the course operates for four weeks, which includes 50 hours of classroom instruction, 50 hours of range training, 20 hours of driving, and 40 hours of road observation (including a two-hour CDL driving exam).
Students must have a current and valid N.C. driver's license and pass a physical to include a drug screening.
Four individuals are enrolled in the current session of the program.
"The truck driving industry is in need of drivers right now," said Brian Kindle, of Broadway. "It's a good career. I wouldn't actually call it a job. It's a career."
Kindle added, "It's a very good program to go through and I recommend it to anyone."
Christopher McKoy, of Lillington, said it's something he's always wanted to do. "One of my family members told me about the program," he said. "I'm having a great time."
Ashley Yarborough, of Sanford, said she joined the program because of her children. "I want a better life for myself," she said.
Russell Moore, of Sanford, said that his former job had been eliminated when he learned about the CDL program. "This was a blessing," he said.
Ayanna Hamilton, Director of Continuing Education for Lee County, said that the forecast showed there was a high demand for the program and the response has been outstanding.
She's been especially impressed of how most of those who have finished the program have landed into jobs. In fact, of the 16 individuals to finish the program this past summer, 14 found employment. "To actually be able to go to work, that's very impressive -- and good for our economy."
Hamilton also is pleased that all of the class participants who have qualified for financial aid have received funding, which includes assistance from the Workforce Investment Act.
The next class is set for Nov. 11-Dec. 12, with Thanksgiving week off.
For more information about CDL training through CCCC's Continuing Education Department, call 919-777-7793.
Members of the current Commercial Driver's License (CDL) class being offered through Central Carolina Community College are pictured with two of their instructors. Pictured are, left to right: Instructor Victor Torres, Christopher McKoy, Brian Kindle, Russell Moore (in window), Ashley Yarborough and Instructor Joe Henderson.