The Clark State Commercial Transportation Training Center will begin offering a weekend course option to obtain a CDL Class A license in January of 2018.
This ten-week semi-truck driving training program is tailored for working adults who want to train for a new career as a commercial driver, without leaving their existing job.
“At Clark State’s Commercial Transportation Training Center, our priority is to ensure that our students have every opportunity to train for a new career without adding the strain of supporting a family to the equation,” said Duane Hodge, director of the Clark State Commercial Transportation Training Center. “Class sizes are small, which allows students to progress through the program and master the required skills in a relaxed non-competitive environment.”
Hodge also said professional drivers are in high demand, and the need for drivers will exceed the supply for many years to come. “Ohio Means Jobs projects 1,597 openings each year for professional drivers in Ohio through 2022,” he said.
Program fees includes all books, materials, testing and fees. “There are no other out-of-pocket expenses associated with this program,” said Hodge.
Financial assistance may be available to individuals who qualify through a number of sources including Ohio Means Jobs (WIOA), Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (ODOD) and veteran educational programs.
“We are currently taking applications for the first cohort and financial assistance is available for those who qualify,” said Hodge. “Clark State also had several no-money-down loan programs available to students for this course.”
A new cohort of six students will begin every ten weeks starting on Saturday, January 6, 2018. Classes will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays at the Clark State Brinkman Educational Center, 100 South Limestone Street and the road/range training facility at 325 Tremont City Road in Springfield, Ohio.
In addition to offering the weekend course option, Clark State was approved for increased loan funding from the Ohio Department of Higher Education. In the fall of 2015, Clark State was awarded $99,000 for CDL training. This month, Clark State was awarded $250,000 from the Ohio Means Jobs Workforce Development Revolving Loan Fund Program in support of the CDL training program.
The Ohio Department of Higher Education explains that the purpose of the loan program is to promote and encourage Ohio’s workforce development and job growth through educational training and retraining in programs related to employment opportunities in growing fields.
“This significant increase in funding from the state for this program is particularly noteworthy,” said Hodge. “Students cannot use federal financial aid (Title IV) for CDL training.”
Hodge said these loans give students access to the Clark State CDL training program, which in turn, leads to a good job. The program rewards hard working individuals who have never had, or have never defaulted on a previous student loan. Students eligible for the loan must be a resident of Ohio and be accepted into the CDL program. No credit checks are required.
“Before this loan fund, the opportunity to take our CDL class was an impossible financial reach for most of our applicants,” he said. “As these students graduate, get good jobs and start repaying their loans, the fund revolves and provides funds for future students. This significant increase in funding from the state was in response to the 100 percent graduation and zero default rates our program achieved in the previous loan cycle.”
Interested students should contact the Commercial Transportation Training Center office at 937-328-6054 to start the application process.