JWCC Creates New Online Truck Driver Training Class to Help Meet Industry Demand

JWCC Creates New Online Truck Driver Training Class to Help Meet Industry Demand

New course can streamline training time; help more prospective drivers start career sooner

Quincy, Illinois - John Wood Community College has created a new online truck driver training class to help students quickly enter the industry or train while maintaining a full-time job.

The eight-week Introduction to Truck Driver Training online course is the only one of its kind in the region and covers the classroom component required for the non-credit certificate program.  The online class decreases the amount of time students need to be on campus to complete training.  Students will learn basic information needed by a truck driver and receive an overview of vehicle braking, electrical, mechanical and air systems and Department of Transportation rules and regulations. 

Hands-on driving instruction required in addition to the online class can be arranged on weekends and evenings to allow students to continue to work while training. 

“This online class can be a game changer for people who want to enter the career, but have to work full-time while training,” Casey Ragar, JWCC truck driving instructor said.  “They can fit in the online class in the evening, or even work ahead and complete the class in less than eight weeks if they are really motivated.  The time in the truck can be done outside of their regular work week, and could be completed in a few weekends or several evenings.”

Since the classroom component is offered online, students from outside JWCC’s district can complete it anywhere and potentially visit the College’s Workforce Development Center in Quincy on weekends to finish hands-on driving instruction. JWCC may work with students to arrange housing during training.

Current industry needs far exceed the number of available truck drivers across the country, and specifically in JWCC’s district.  More than 200 positions are open in the region for trained truck drivers, which pay $40,000 to $50,000 average starting salaries.  Companies have also restructured deliveries to offer shorter, localized routes and changed some driver schedules to allow for three or more days at home each week.

During an average year, JWCC trains approximately 60 students in its truck driver program, which is certified by the Professional Truck Driver Institute. Graduates of JWCC’s program are heavily recruited by many prominent companies, and most students are offered employment upon completion.

Funding may be available for students from Dot Transportation, Inc. or Sharkey Transportation. Students 18 to 23 may qualify for funding through the Workforce Investment Act program.

The next information session for the JWCC truck driver training program is August 7 at 6:30 p.m. at the JWCC Workforce Development Center at 4220 Kochs Lane in Quincy.  Students interested in the online course may contact lewis@jwcc.edu 217.641.4971 or visit www.jwcc.edu/truck

Students may begin the next session of the program and online course August 28.

John Wood Community College is the educational link between business and community. JWCC collaboratively creates innovative and relevant academic and training programs with business leaders to educate young people and the workforce for today’s needs and tomorrow’s opportunities. JWCC has centers in Quincy, Pittsfield, Baylis and Mt. Sterling, Illinois. Programs include a comprehensive baccalaureate transfer curriculum, customized business training, career/technical degrees and certificates and personal enrichment courses.

Learn more at: www.jwcc.edu.