Illinois Valley Community College (IVCC) has trained over 2,000 student CDL truck drivers.
Since the program’s inception in 2000, each student has received their CDL license, all endorsements, and other skills, including logging, backing, and maneuvering. The program’s administrative assistant Mary Beth Liss stated in a press release that many students come to them without even knowing how to drive a manual transition. “Our instructors are happy to teach them,” Liss said.
Bruce Hartman, the program’s coordinator, says that the program also aims to educate the public on the misconceptions of trucker life. “People also think if they get their CDL, they may have to travel and be gone from home for long periods of time. This is incorrect as we have many local jobs,” Hartman said. “In fact, we currently have information on over 20 local jobs and about 50 regional and over-the-road jobs.”
Veterans have also been taking full advantage of this program. According to current program students, the Illinois Veterans Grant or Post 911 benefits left them with only $237 of their tuition left to pay.
IVCC offers both day and night school each semester for this 160-hour program. Applicants must be at least 18 years old, but no prior driving experience is required.