West Virginia Community College Gets CDL Training Simulators

Five Other Institutions in Line for Equipment as Well
CDL simulators
Southern West Virginia Community & Technical College announced the arrival of the CDL driving simulators Oct. 2. (Southern West Virginia Community & Technical College via Facebook)

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A West Virginia community and technical college can now enhance its commercial driver license training with a pair of sophisticated driving simulators courtesy of the state.

Southern West Virginia Community & Technical College in Williamson announced the arrival of the CDL driving simulators Oct. 2 in a plan to boost the number of truck drivers in the state.

The state has 10,740 residents employed as heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers, who make an average annual salary of $46,350, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In March, the state issued a request for proposals to purchase CDL simulators for Southern and the following five other educational institutions: Blue Ridge Community and Technical College in Martinsburg, BridgeValley Community and Technical College in South Charleston, Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College in Petersburg, New River Community and Technical College in Ghent and West Virginia Northern Community and Technical College in Wheeling.

“Simulation-based training, recognized for its pivotal role in developing critical decision-making skills, situational awareness and spatial understanding, has arrived at Southern’s doorstep,” noted a statement from Southern. “These high-tech simulators offer a realistic, risk-free environment for students to hone their skills. Simulations have proven instrumental in reducing preventable accidents and mitigating their severity.”

Pamela Alderman, college president, noted that the CDL simulators will further strengthen the institution’s commitment to providing students with a transformative educational experience while preparing them for success in the workforce and beyond.

Southern officials acknowledged that the installation of the simulators was made possible through the financial support to the state’s community and technical colleges from Gov. Jim Justice and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).

Jeff Trout, Southern’s CDL instructor, said incorporating these simulators will provide additional tools to help students achieve even greater success in a CDL program that already excels in training its students.

So far, six community colleges across West Virginia have been awarded at least two CDL simulators to modernize and enhance CDL training throughout the state.

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In August, BridgeValley announced it received three TranSim Truck Driving Simulators (the same type Southern received) manufactured by L3 Harris. The simulator purchases were made possible through a $1.4 million congressional earmark secured by Manchin’s office via the West Virginia Community and Technical College System, noted BridgeValley officials.

“These advanced simulators enable students to practice critical decision-making skills, enhance their practical training, and improve driver assessments. With adjustable scenario difficulty and a wide variety of training objectives, the simulators can replicate different terrains, road conditions and atmospheric situations, ensuring comprehensive driver training,” BridgeValley officials stated.