Hit the road
HARLAN — There was a shortage of truck drivers throughout the United States in 2023, and according to the American Trucking Association, a new record high deficiency in drivers is forecasted for 2024. The Shelby County Center of Iowa Western Community College (IWCC) is trying to boost the amount of commercial drivers in the area by offering a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) training program.
“The demand for CDL truck drivers continues to grow, and the Shelby County Center of Iowa Western Community College is excited to bring our CDL training program to this area,” said Lori Stitz Director, IWCC Shelby County Center.
The Shelby County Class will be held in Harlan beginning March 18.
Stitz said she believes individuals who successfully complete the program will have opportunities to embark on a lucrative and rewarding career path.
“Iowa Western Community College is responding to an important need of many businesses in Southwest Iowa. By providing CDL training in various locations throughout the region. We hope individuals can complete the training and ultimately obtain employment right in their own communities,” she said.
Class A CDL Course Description
The semi-truck driving training program is a competency-based Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) program and is designed to prepare trainees for a career that offers freedom, stability, and competitive pay.
The course will develop skills in backing, turning and safe driving on both rural and suburban roads. Training techniques including CDL simulator, online coursework, classroom lecture and hands-on Behind-The-Wheel that meet the Federal Motor Carrier Entry-Level Driver Training requirements (FMCSA), (49 CFR 380.503) from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
The course is in preparation for Class A CDL testing with a Federal Department of Transportation (DOT) examiner, which is included in the cost of the course.
The course can be completed in four weeks, but students proficient in pre-trip inspection, range and road skills may complete CDL testing prior to the end date.
Class B CDL Course Description
In this course, participants can earn a Class B commercial driver’s license to be able to drive class B commercial vehicles such as a dump truck, or straight truck. The course teaches the safe driving skills necessary to get a Class B CDL and a well-paying job.
Tuition includes online entry level driver theory training, entry level driver behind the wheel training, along with testing with a third-party Iowa DOT certified examiner at our site. IWCC has both manual and automatic transmissions available for students. IWCC is an approved FMCSA Training Provider. Class will consist of a classroom theory portion prior to the 30-hour face to face hands on training.
To enter the IWCC CDL Training Program, participants must be 18 years of age or older. They must first obtain a Commercial Learner Permit (CLP) from the Iowa Department of Motor Vehicles (more information may be found at https://iowadot.gov/mvd/cdl/Commercial-learners-permit). Participants must acquire a DOT approved physical from a physician on the register of certified doctors. The list of certified doctors may be found at https://nationalregistry.fmcsa.dot.gov/home
A five-year Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) will be acquired by Iowa Western via a third party provider. Participants must allow IWCC to pull this report. Contact IWCC if there are any concerns.
The MVR must include no serious or major moving violations; no more than three minor moving violations; and no drug or alcohol related offenses.
Iowa Western will need copies of the participants driver’s license, Commercial Learner Permit, and Medical Examiners Certificate, which is commonly referred to as a long form.
IWCC will send particpants for mandatory FMCSA DOT Drug and Alcohol Test. The cost for this testing is included in the course fee.
For more information and to enroll, please see https://www.iwcc.edu/cdl-program/
Education to Employment Grant
Iowa residents may qualify for IWCC’s Education 2 Employment Grant, which would pay for the CDL course in its entirety.
Education 2 Employment is a free college and career preparatory program designed to enhance students’ skills and employability while preparing them for vocational training and college degree programs.
This program offers financial assistance to eligible Iowa residents who would otherwise not be able to afford job training. For more information, please visit https://www.iwcc.edu/ce/education-2-employment/