Suffolk student first to graduate from new truck driver training program at PDCCC

Randy Renee Skyler

Supporting Skyler Turner, center, at graduation are Truck Driver Training Coordinator Duncan Quicke, from left, Vice President of Workforce Development Randy Betz, Vice President for Institutional Advancement Dr. Renee Felts and Instructor Doug Kimbrell.

Paul D. Camp Community College graduated its first student who successfully completed the new truck driver training program. After only six weeks of training, Skyler Turner of Suffolk graduated during a special ceremony held recently in Emporia.
The new 240-hour program allows students to attain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and earn a livable wage with benefits. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean wage for heavy and tractor trailer drivers in May 2015 was up to more than $40,000 a year in Virginia.
Classroom instruction focused on map reading, trip planning and maintaining truck logs. Other course components include preventative maintenance, highway safety and handling hazardous materials. Inspections prior to trips and extensive maneuvering of the vehicle were topics also covered.
Prospective students must be at least 18 years old and possess a valid Virginia driver’s license. Additionally, the following is required one week prior to the start of classes:

  • Providing a copy of their driving record
  • Passing a Department of Transportation physical exam
  • Passing a drug test and agree to future testing during the course of the program
  • Providing a CDL-A learner’s permit

“Program graduates have a very high CDL pass rate and job placement rate with participating companies,” said Betz. Turner has recently focused his efforts on obtaining a position with McElroy Truck Lines.
The ceremony was highlighted by remarks delivered by guest speaker Bobby Wrenn, the longest serving clerk of court for Greensville County.
Turner’s tuition was co-funded by the Workforce Credentials Grant and the LogistX Games fundraiser held in July. The second session at the Emporia site is scheduled for May 8 through June 15, 2017. A third session has been slated for July 17 through Aug. 24, 2017. Students are eligible for financial aid to enroll in this training. For more information, contact Betz at 757-569-6064.