Truck Driver Training and Test Prep Program Offered Via U of A Partnership
Doug Carter, owner of Mid-America Truck Driving School (left, sitting); Blake Robertson, president of Northwest Technical Institute; and Heather Sprandel (left, standing) and Tara Dryer, both with the Global Campus, signed a partnership document Thursday, Jan. 7, to expand a training and test preparation program for commercial truck drivers.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas is teaming with two Arkansas technical institutions to offer a test preparation program for those seeking a commercial driver’s license. Courses begin in January.
The U of A Global Campus in Rogers forged a new partnership with Northwest Technical Institute in Springdale and Mid-America Truck Driving School Inc. of Springdale/Malvern to offer a commercial driver’s license program that provides participants with the information, skills and hands-on training needed to apply for a license.
The partnership’s purpose is to address the growing shortage of licensed truck drivers in the United States, a shortage of nearly 50,000 drivers at the end of 2015, according to the American Trucking Association.
Participants can request registration information online, and the cost is $3,700.
The five-week program results in a total of 200 hours of combined classroom and behind-the-wheel training, including the course final exam. Each course is designed to provide the student with the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities to obtain a commercial driver’s license. The program will also equip students to operate any classification of commercial vehicle, including tractor and trailer vehicles, dump trucks, log trucks, cement mixers, school buses and coach buses.
“The U of A Global Campus has been expanding our non-credit programming to meet the training needs of the local workforce and one area of focus will be on CDL training,” said Tara Dryer, director of training, corporate development and academic outreach for the U of A Global Campus. “With this partnership, we hope to expand the number of individuals being placed in careers after obtaining their CDLs.”
Classes run from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Courses begin at the start of each calendar month throughout the year. Evening classes are also available.
Blake Robertson, president of Northwest Technical Institute, and Doug Carter, owner of Mid-America Truck Driving School, will work with the Global Campus to ensure this program helps to prepare participants to take the CDL exam.
This program is open to all applicants who qualify to take the CDL exam, and this program will expand commercial driver training and testing opportunities for two specific target populations:
- Women, who make up 47 percent of the total U.S. labor force, but only 6 percent of working truck drivers, and
- Veterans, who may qualify for a waiver of the skills portion of the commercial driver’s license application from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
The American Trucking Association pledged that its members will hire 100,000 military veterans over the next two years as part of the U.S. government’s program to simplify the transition to the transportation industry for veterans.
About the Global Campus: The Global Campus supports U of A colleges and schools in the development and delivery of online, distance and workforce education programs and courses. It provides instructional design services, technology services and assistance with marketing, recruiting and strategic academic development.
Northwest Technical Institute: For over 40 years Northwest Technical Institute has been “ Changing lives through education, training and skill development”. NTI offers 12 diploma programs focused on career and technical education as well as a certified nursing program to prepare students for a new career or provide advancement in the workplace.
Mid-America Truck Driving School: MATDS provides CDL training for those interested in obtaining the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to safely operate commercial motor vehicles and to obtain a commercial driver’s license. They have trained and assisted with the career placement of nearly 2000 drivers in Arkansas since 2003.
About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.
Tara Dryer, director of training, corporate development and academic outreach
Kay Murphy, director of communications
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