Walla Walla, Wash. – Walla Walla Community College (WWCC) has announced plans to resume instruction for would-be truck and other commercial drivers seeking a commercial driver’s license (CDL). The college intends to enroll its first cohort of students by March 2023.
To support the return of CDL instruction at WWCC, the college received a three-year, $623,000 grant from the State of Washington to provide scholarship assistance to students. For a number of students, the first $2000 of tuition and fees will be paid by this grant.
Since the pandemic, demand for CDL drivers has grown both locally and nationally. Drivers with the CDL credential are crucial for a wide variety of industries, including transportation, manufacturing, agriculture, and many others.
“We are thrilled to offer this crucial service to students and employers,” WWCC President Chad Hickox said. “Commercial truck driving is a great living-wage job, and skilled drivers will be in high demand.”
The college is looking for partners in the community to identify potential students and to hire graduates from this program.
“WWCC is working in close partnership with the Port of Walla Walla to provide this opportunity to local students and employers,” Hickox said.
To complete CDL training, students are required to complete 120 hours in the cab of a truck—both driving and observing others drive—in addition to 40 hours of classroom and non-driving instruction. WWCC CDL graduates learn and apply the skills necessary to pass the State of Washington’s CDL examination. Such skills include safe and proper driving techniques, pre- and post-trip inspections, and coupling and uncoupling. Training can be completed in just one college quarter or less.
If you are interested in learning more about WWCC’s commercial truck driving program, please contact Gwen Dentinger at [email protected].