From service to semis: TCC receives grant that aims to train more vets as truckers
Published 6:52 pm Tuesday, August 30, 2022
Tidewater Community College received an eighth federal grant to specifically help train military veterans and their spouses for careers in trucking.
The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently awarded TCC a $102,769 grant, which will be administered by the college’s Center for Military and Veterans Education.
TCC is one of 12 community colleges in the nation and the only college in Virginia to receive the award.
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“We’re very proud of the work we’re doing to serve our military veterans and their spouses in trucking,” said Beno Rubin, Ph.D., pathway dean for manufacturing and transportation. “TCC’s trucking instructors have over 100 years of combined training and road experience and share that knowledge with students behind the wheel and in the classroom.
“During this pivotal time with supply chain issues, it’s especially important to offer veterans, who know how to serve, a way to contribute even after they leave military service,” Rubin added.
Since the initial grant was received in 2014, a total of 245 veterans and spouses have enrolled in TCC’s Truck Driving program using this funding.
Recipients of the grant pay nothing to complete the one-semester, 16-credit certificate. Students learn how to drive a truck in state-of-the-art simulators that allow them to practice in varied road and weather conditions. The program includes 140 hours of on-the-road training. Course work qualifies students to obtain the Class A CDL (commercial driver’s license) from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.
After completing the program, TCC instructors take students to the DMV test site for the final skills exam. Students must be able to successfully complete a series of tests including a set of backing maneuvers with the truck and a road test in live traffic.
TCC students have a 98% first-time pass rate on the DMV tests for commercial licenses.
Trucking classes are taught at TCC’s Center for Workforce Solutions on College Drive in northern Suffolk. Day, evening and weekend sessions are offered year-round.
Contact Alesia Wroten, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757-822-7714, for information on qualifying for the grant program.