(ABILENE, Texas) – Texas State Technical College will begin offering commercial driver’s license (CDL) classes at its Abilene campus later this year.
Through grants and donations, TSTC will offer four-week classes beginning September 12 to prepare students for the CDL written examination, while teaching general truck-driving skills with a hands-on component and instruction coordinated with the Department of Transportation.
Abilene is the fourth TSTC campus to offer the program through the Professional Driving Academy. CDL programs are also available at the Fort Bend County, Harlingen and Marshall campuses.
Cindy Brunett, executive director of Workforce Training at TSTC, said this is not the first time that the course has been available in West Texas.
“We had offered CDL training here up until 2013-14, and it was a success,” she said. “When the instructor left, our goal was to bring the program back to West Texas. We are excited to bring this opportunity to our community.”
The TSTC Foundation received two grants to help fund the program. Brunett said TSTC received a $350,000 Texas Talent Connection grant and a $530,000 Texas Reskilling and Upskilling Through Education grant. The funds will be used to cover instructor salaries, a project coordinator, tuition fees for up to 22 students, and other program equipment.
“We are growing, and these grants are proof we are growing,” she said.
Two Taylor County companies also partnered with TSTC to help make the program a reality. Circle C Hauling and Dunagin Transport each donated a truck. Circle C Hauling also donated a trailer.
“Dunagin Transport is excited to be partnering with an organization like TSTC,” said Bo Dunigan, owner of Dunagin Transport. “We love to see jobs in our community stay here. I am proud to be investing in the future workforce.”
After completing the four-week program, students will be able to control and maneuver the vehicle in various traffic situations, and safely back through various obstacles. They will also be able to inspect and determine the condition of critical vehicle components, including instruments and controls; engines and drivetrains; chassis and suspensions; steering, brake and coupling systems; emergency equipment; and cargo securement devices.
The Abilene campus will be a Texas Department of Public Safety-approved testing site, Brunett said.
“Many people attempting to obtain their CDL have to wait weeks for testing,” she said. “When our students complete the program, they will be able to take it immediately. We are proud to be able to offer that to our students.”
To register for the program or to ask questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.