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Keep on trucking: Butte school offers CDLs for aspiring truck drivers

Posted at 5:37 PM, Sep 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-29 19:37:52-04

BUTTE — There’s a need for more truck drivers and Highlands College in Butte trying to meet that need by starting a class to help people get a CDL or commercial driver’s license.

“Truck driving is actually going to be a big part of the economic recovery. We’ve got to be able to get the products into the consumer’s hands and that kind of thing and the easiest way to do that obviously is by driving it,” said Michelle Morley of Highlands College Workforce Development.

Highlands College is offering the class as part of its workforce development program to get more people in the

trades, such as truck driving. The college partnered with some businesses that expressed a need for more qualified truck drivers.

“We’re excited about those partnerships and listening to industry and what they are seeing a need for and trying to make that work,” said Community Relations Director Brooke Samson.

The trucking industry, like many businesses, took a hit from the pandemic and needs more drivers to get products to the stores.

“They’re the ones that are going to be on the road hauling the merchandise to get them to the stores, we see empty shelves and part of that is we need drivers to fill those shelves,” said Morley.

The six-week class begins in late October and people can apply online at Montana Tech Workforce.

According to the website: The CDL program teaches students basic truck driving skills introducing student to the field of heavy duty trucking. Safety as well as State of Montana and Federal Department of Transportation (DOT) rules and regulations and equipment knowledge are emphasized. Using a comprehensive curriculum developed by the Professional Truck Driving Institute (PTDI), student will receive approximately 150 hours of instruction including 44 driving hours that meets DOT and Federal Motor Carrie Safety Administration (FMCSA) Entry-Level Driving Training regulation standards addressing skills, theory/knowledge, tasks, and the duties required of entry-level commercial vehicle drivers. The program meets the needs of student with no prior knowledge or experience in truck driving interested in getting a Class-A CDL.