NEW Local CDL Driving Program Offers Solution to Local, State, and National Challenge.
Marion County Public Schools has part of the answer to a local, state, and national shortage of commercial truck drivers – a new program training local drivers in our own backyard. Booster Stadium on Northeast 36th Avenue will be the home of the new Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) program. This location provides easily accessible space and a safe location for practicing commercial driving skills without interfering with surrounding properties or heavy traffic.
Marion Technical College will operate the program tailored to local adults with affordable tuition. Students interested in the CDL program may find financial assistance at CareerSource CLM if they qualify. The district anticipates the first class to start early this fall, and the instructor has already been hired. The program will use a driving simulator for much of the training, the only such simulator in this part of Florida. This allows students to drive on various road terrains (uphill, downhill, etc.) and conditions (rain, snow, ice, daytime, nighttime, etc.) without actually putting tires to the ground. It reduces wear and tear on vehicles and offers cost savings in lower fuel consumption. Most importantly, it guarantees safety for students in these various training scenarios: jack-knifing, skidding or unexpected collisions with other vehicles or pedestrians. The eight-week training includes 320 hours of instruction, meets Department of Transportation regulations, and eventually provides Class A and Class B driver’s licenses to graduates. MRMA has been working on this project for over 3 years with area schools. We are very excited that MTC has taking this move in opening a premier program in our back yard. Many thanks to R&L Global Logistics and Capri Furniture for donating trucks to the program.