Arkansas Partnership Provides Commercial Driver’s License Training

The University of Arkansas at Monticello-College of Technology at McGhee (UAM-CTM) and the Arkansas Human Development Corporation (AHDC) recently created a partnership to provide Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) training for residents of southeast Arkansas.  AHDC enrolled five National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP) customers in the first six weeks training session and all five successfully completed training and found jobs.

Each found employment as drivers in the trucking industry, driving for local regional or national companies at substantially higher wages  then those earned before training.

Prior to enrollment in the NFJP customers were employed in seasonal farmwork occupations where they  fed cattle, irrigated crops cleared farm land or hauled grain from fields to storage facilities on and off the farms.

A CDL is a driver’s license that allows license holders to be compensated for driving trucks or truck-combinations with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) that exceeds 26,000 pounds; transporting hazardous materials in amounts requiring warning signs following the U.S. Department of Transportation guidelines; and transporting more than 16 more passengers.  UAM-CTM Vice Chancellor Bob Ware noted the need for CDL drivers is great.  “CDL drivers are in high demand.  Almost every industry has a need for a driver at this time and there are not enough qualified drivers to fill all of those jobs.”  Mr. Ware also stated that the commercial truck driving industry is one where those that are employed make a living wage and that is important when choosing a job today.

Ms. Sharon Burns, Employment Specialist at AHDC referenced the benefits of the truck driver training program.  “The NFJP is designed to help seasonal and migrant farmworkers find full-time employment.  AHDC’s partnership with UAM-CTM is doing just that.  It is a great alignment because it is a strategic alliance and because it works.”

Would you like to see one of your farmworker job-training success stories included in the Washington Newsline?