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Gadsden State Community College new trucking program

WBRC Gadsden State trucking program
Published: May. 10, 2022 at 8:48 PM CDT
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ANNISTON, Ala. (WBRC) - Gadsden State Community College held a ribbon-cutting for their new truck driving program at their Ayers Campus in Anniston. It is a part of their workforce development division and students will learn to drive trucks, buses, delivery and commercial vehicles.

A recent study from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows since April 2020, the trucking industry has added close to 119,000 jobs.

Gadsden State’s Director of Skills Training, Baisha Woody adds it’s an industry that is growing quickly. Woody says all their current classes are at capacity.

“Being that the program is in high demand right now it’s hard to get into a truck driving class at some of your neighboring colleges,” says Woody. “So, at this point, it is a great benefit. Not only just for here in Anniston and Gadsden but just for other surrounding areas to know that Gadsden State is in the right place at the right time.”

Two years ago, Craig Burgess with BR Williams Trucking says this was an idea he along with East Alabama Works presented to the college to add the truck driver program to the campus in Anniston.

“Well, Gadsden State listened, and Gadsden State provided,” says Burgess. “And that is how that will help us increase our popularity of bringing in the younger generation because not everybody wants to go to college, so truck driving is a very good opportunity for young people to make a very good living.”

The truck driving program classes begin every six weeks and students are required to complete 240 hours.

Gadsden State President Dr. Kathy Murphy says once students finish the program there are several jobs available in the area. They are a community college that wants to serve and address the needs of the community.

“5,818 Job postings within a 60-mile radius of the very space we stand here,’ says Dr. Murphy. “So we’ve been responsive to that request for job postings to get commercial truck drivers. Helping workforce development business industry and as a result of that economic development.”

The next class will begin on Monday, May 23. For information on funding to cover the cost of the program, contact the local Alabama Career Center. For more information, visit Gadsden State’s website or call 256-549-8640.

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