CSM Celebrates National Truck Driver Appreciation Week by Kicking Off Fall Weekend CDL Class

The College of Southern Maryland recognizes National Truck Driver Appreciation Week by kicking off its fall weekend CDL class this Saturday.

Recruiters Already Waiting With Jobs For CSM’s Students When They Complete Their Training

The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) celebrates National Truck Driver Appreciation Week (NTDAW) by kicking off its fall weekend Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) class this Saturday, Sept. 14. Since CSM began offering classes through its CSM’s Center for Transportation Training in 1992, more than 3,000 truck drivers have taken to the road thanks to CSM’s CDL courses.

NTDAW is a week dedicated to celebrating truck drivers in the United States and spearheaded by the American Trucking Associations, with this year’s recognition from Sunday, Sept. 8 through Saturday, Sept. 14. The week is coordinated each year to show the country’s 3.5 million truck drivers that carriers, shippers and the rest of the industry appreciate the jobs they do.

Senior Director at CSM’s Center for Transportation Training Mary Beth McCollum shared in a recent story “CSM’s Center for Transportation Remains Ready As National Demand for CDL Drivers Continues in Face of Impending New Federal Regulations,” that students looking to start a career in truck driving are keeping enrollment steady. More than that, she shared, employers are knocking and just waiting to offer the students jobs upon their completion of class.

“This weekend we will begin our fall weekend classes and we are full to capacity with nine anxious students ready to start on a new and exciting career path,” said McCollum. “Each student will be trained with the required skills to become a professional commercial driver. The weekend class has students in class for 13 weekends and their training  will be completed in December. Recruiters are already waiting for them as there any many truck seats that need filled both locally and over the road.”


As an instructor, Eric McCollum works with students during CSM’s seven-week program to provide 280 hours of training that begins in the classroom to prepare students for CDL learner’s permit. After their in-class work, students move to the driving range where they begin to learn how to put the truck in motion. Students learn hand position, driving, backing and parking as well as how to perform under-the-hood vehicle inspections. Students must also master road rules, regulations and numerous safety issues of the road state-by-state, including human trafficking.

“Truck drivers are the backbone of moving this country’s commerce,” said Eric McCollum. “And it’s not a bad living. Drivers who stay local can earn $42,000 a year; and those who drive across county – or ‘open road’ – can earn up to $60,000 a year. Walmart just upped the bar by offering new drivers nearly $90,000 a year.”

CSM is Here to Help

CSM offers Commercial Trucker Driver Class-A (CDL-A) and Commercial Driver’s License Class-B (CDL-B) training. The CDL-A course trains students to operate combination trucks: tractor trailer, straight trucks, dump trucks and other commercial delivery trucks. The CDL-B course trains students to operate passenger transport vehicles such as motor coaches and school buses as well as straight trucks, dump trucks and other commercial delivery trucks.

“Truck drivers are the backbone of moving this country’s commerce,” said CSM CDL Program Manager and Master Trainer Eric McCollum. “And it’s not a bad living. Drivers who stay local can earn $42,000 a year; and those who drive across county – or ‘open road’ – can earn up to $60,000 a year. Walmart just upped the bar by offering new drivers nearly $90,000 a year.”

CSM is among the few schools in the country that have earned certification by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI) for its Class A program. A certification through a PTDI accredited program is recognized in the industry and enhances a student’s resume.

The Class A CDL program also provides college credit for students with the opportunity to earn a scholarship. Students in CSM’s non-credit CDL courses can seek funding through grants awarded by agencies such as Southern Maryland Works or Maryland Division of Rehabilitative Services as well as the College of Southern Maryland Foundation.

CSM also offers school bus driver training and former graduates of class A or B can upgrade to a bus driver license.

Students must be at least 21 years of age, pass a Department of Transportation (DOT) physical exam and drug screening, possess a valid Maryland or Virginia driver’s license, have no more than three points on their driving record, and maintain zero points for drug or alcohol violations to participate in this training. Students must also be willing to participate in random drug and/or alcohol testing.

CSM also offers classes for driver education and motorcycle safety. For more information, visit the CSM Center for Transportation online at https://www.csmd.edu/programs-courses/non-credit/career-development/transportation/.

The Maryland Motor Truck Association (MMTA) Scholarship was established in 2009 by the MMTA in support of students enrolled in a trucking or transportation related program. For information or to apply, visit https://foundation.csmd.edu/making-a-difference/scholarships/index.html.

 

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