Central Virginia Community College offers new CDL program

LYNCHBURG, Va. – A new program at Central Virginia Community College is gearing students toward the job market while helping fill a shortage affecting people nationwide.

With one year left at Liberty University, Nick Buszko is looking for a job.

By enrolling in the CVCC’s CDL course, he went from learner to qualified driver in the space of four short weeks.

“I like having different skills to lean on,” Buszko said. “With the current economy and the demand for truck drivers, I thought that was probably a good thing to do.”

Buszko is one of 55 students who have enrolled in the program.

The college recently partnered with Ancora, so students can learn to drive on campus and around town.

“We have an aging workforce. One of the things you see across the country is you have a variety of age groups that belong to that demographic, the majority belong to that baby boomer generation,” said Scott Pleasants, Partnerships Coordinator commercial at the CVCC. “What we’re looking to do is train a seasoned worker who can actually meet those needs so that as people get older they can actually step in and move into the driver’s seat.”

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Pleasants added that CVCC is seeking partnerships with Walmart, Foster Fuels and Watts Petroleum to provide jobs for students.

The American Trucking Association said the country was short about 80,000 drivers, an all-time high.

“I think what we realize is that a four-year degree isn’t the answer for everyone,” said Jason Ferguson, associate vice president of professional and career studies at CVCC. “Whether it’s CDL or any of our career programs, it’s important to get people into the positions that will get them jobs, with little or no debt, and getting into the job market to fill those positions with all the shortages that we face.

Ferguson said drivers must be 18 or older to take the course. He added that there are two-course options that drivers can enroll in.

The full-time course lasts four weeks, Monday to Thursday. The part-time course lasts eight weeks at weekends.

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“I’m excited now to start doing longer road trips and driving a bit,” said Buszko, who graduated on Monday.

CVCC said most students can get their CDL for free. The Commonwealth covers two-thirds of the tuition and other scholarships for those who complete the course like Buszko.

Copyright 2022 by WSLS 10 – All rights reserved.

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