Two N.C. Community Colleges Expand Reach of CDL Training

Richmond CC and Montgomery County CC Prepare Students to Be Truck Drivers
MCC truck
Starting Oct. 23, MCC will start its nine-week training program. (Montgomery Community College)

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In a partnership, one North Carolina community college is sharing its resources with another to help get more people trained for truck driving careers.

Richmond Community College, which serves approximately 10,000 students, is extending its truck driver training program some 50 miles north so students at Troy-based Montgomery County Community College (MCC) now have the opportunity to earn a commercial driver license.

Richmond’s main campus is in Hamlet, located near the state’s central southern border near Interstate 74.

“We at MCC are very proud to be able to work together with RichmondCC to expand this training into our county,” Chad Bledsoe, president of MCC, said recently. “It’s going to meet the needs of both our employers and potential employees, and it’s just one example of how community colleges can partner together to serve our communities.”

MCC-RCC signing

Richmond Community College is extending its truck driver training program to students at Montgomery County Community College. (Richmond Community College) 

MCC students now can pursue truck driving careers using resources from Richmond’s training program. Bledsoe underscored the importance of the trucking industry on both local and national levels, particularly due to truck driver shortages.

“We need people to keep this industry going, and without truck drivers we wouldn’t have the goods and services we need,” Bledsoe said.

Dale McInnis, Richmond Community College president, said it would provide its resources, including the vehicles and truck driving instructors for the class in MCC.

“We saw an opportunity to support our friends here in Montgomery County. It makes no sense to replicate high-cost programs when we have existing equipment that will satisfy the demand,” McInnis said.

Starting Oct. 23, MCC will start its nine-week training program Monday-Thursday. The cost will be $999 for MCC students.

Richmond launched its truck driving training program a year ago with a Class A CDL course divided into classroom instruction, range driving and on-the-road instruction. It has graduated four classes that each had a 100% passage rate in enrollment and course completion, and on the CDL exam.

The program has expanded to include a Class B CDL to train drivers on oversized vehicles such as straight trucks, box trucks and dump trucks with small trailers. That class began Oct. 2.

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“You compare that price to what’s happening across the rest of the state or with private companies, which are charging three to four times that amount. We can only do that because of the support from our friends in the General Assembly and the leadership from people like [state] Sen. Dave Craven,” McInnis noted.

Craven attended a ceremony at MCC to announce the CDL training partnership between the community colleges.

“I want to thank Dr. Bledsoe and Dr. McInnis for the hard work they put into this initiative,” Craven said. “This is going to be a great avenue for putting more truck drivers on the road, continuing to move North Carolina forward.”