two trucks in a parking lot

(SWEETWATER, Texas) – With the job outlook bright for people holding a commercial driver’s license (CDL), Texas State Technical College is once again expanding its Professional Driving Academy.

The four-week program will begin its first class at TSTC’s Sweetwater campus on Monday, March 4. Five students will be accepted for the class being taught by Tommy Roach.

“We are excited to be able to offer our Professional Driving Academy program in Sweetwater,” said GaBrielle Mallet, TSTC’s associate provost of the Sweetwater campus. “We are at the center of many industries that need CDLs. With natural gas, oil and wind farms located within minutes of our campus, this is the perfect, and centralized, location for people to receive training.”

The need for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers was forecast to grow 22% in Texas between 2020 and 2030, according to The website reported that Texas currently has nearly 600 jobs open for people holding a Class A CDL.

Cindy Brunett, TSTC’s executive director of Workforce Training and Continuing Education, said the Sweetwater program will have access to two trucks and two trailers for training. The trucks and trailers were secured through a $249,949 Texas Reskilling and Upskilling through Education grant.

“It was important for TSTC to receive grant funds to provide this pivotal training in West Texas,” Brunett said.

The program includes the ability to take the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) CDL test, which will be administered by a TSTC instructor. Brunett said students who complete the program in Sweetwater may take the exam at the Abilene campus.

The first week of the course will be spent mainly in the classroom, with students reviewing the pre-trip inspection checklist. During the second week, students will begin pre-trip inspections on the trucks. Pre-trip inspections will continue during the third week, which will include students maneuvering the trucks around Sweetwater.

The final week will continue to see students performing pre-trip inspections and maneuvers, and scheduling the DPS test.

For more information about the academy, email Rebecca Hargus, Workforce Training and Continuing Education enrollment communication specialist, at

For more information about TSTC’s Workforce Training and Continuing Education courses, visit

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