BY Amanda Sotelo
The commercial driver license (CDL) continuing education course at Texas State Technical College just celebrated its first anniversary and has already graduated more than 100 students. Recently, the program welcomed Werner Enterprise, a North American carrier company and their Operation Freedom truck, to campus.
“We’re fortunate to collaborate with big companies like Werner who hire our students on the spot,” said Continuing Education Special Projects Coordinator Adan Treviño. “Approximately 78 percent of our course graduates are already working with companies like this one (Werner).”
Werner Enterprise has already hired 15 of TSTC’s CDL graduates and they plan to hire more. Werner Enterprise’s Field Recruiter Dale Hunt said he visits with the CDL students on a monthly basis to discuss the job opportunities available at Werner.
“Every CDL graduate we have hired from this TSTC program shows great skill,” said Hunt. “This tells us that their instructors are doing a great job, and we want to be a part of that.”
This was the first time Werner was able to present its Operation Freedom truck to the CDL class on campus. Students had the opportunity to turn on the truck, see under the hood and operate all controls.
Werner has six Operation Freedom Trucks which are driven only by military veterans, but presenting the truck to students gives them an opportunity to see first-hand the type of trucks and equipment available to them if they drive one of the company’s other 7,500 trucks.
Many of the students who enroll in the TSTC commercial driving course are learning the skill for the first time. During this three-week course they learn everything from theory to road rules. Additionally, they receive hands-on lessons in skills such as pre-trip truck inspecting, dock door and parallel parking, and freeway driving.
The course tuition is $4,500 and covers the class, books and supplies. One week before graduation, instructors organize a forum of recruiters from companies such as Werner to speak to students about job possibilities. Upon graduating, students will have the skills needed to work with different carrier organizations as a licensed truck driver.
“The students who graduate from our class are well-rounded,” said Treviño. “We want to give them the options they deserve to find a job that will lead to a successful career.”
For more information on TSTC’s commercial driving class call Treviño at 956-364-4503.