LSCO is trucking along

Published 12:24 am Wednesday, July 29, 2020

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By Dawn Burleigh

With the expansion of the local industry and the resources needed for growth, there is a significant demand for individuals with a Class A Commercial Driver’s License. Lamar State College Orange (LSCO) now offers a six-week training program designed get you on the road and driving off to a new career.

The college recently purchased a tractor and trailer for the program and the new wrapped equipment can be seen as one drives down Green Ave. in Orange.

LSCO’s Director of Community and Workforce Education Thera Celestine said the school was leasing prior to the purchase.

“We do not have any dump truck courses at the moment but it may be something we offer in the future. We currently only offer, training for short and long-haul driving,” Celestine said. “We have had a good response to the courses and are working on more funding.”

Currently one meet eligibility requirements through the Texas Workforce.

“There is a high demand for the jobs in state,” Dean of Health, Workforce and Technical Programs Kristin Walker said. “We love the idea of employees sponsoring students.”

She added the school is working with employers who have drivers who need the license as well as those in need of drivers.

“All the students who have graduated except two are employed,” Celestine said. “Of those two, it was by personal choice at this time to not accept a position. We have had businesses come in while the students are being instructed and hire the students.”

Each student will receive approximately 200 miles of actual behind-the-wheel driving while pulling empty and/or loaded trailers. Truck maintenance and safety, Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, and driving courtesy are covered, according to LSCO website..

Students will learn the safe operation and compliance with the law in various maneuvers of a commercial vehicle in different traffic situations; operate a tractor-trailer combination, and maneuver the vehicle safely frontward and backward around various obstacles. The first two weeks of training are in the classroom followed by four weeks of both classroom and behind-the-wheel training.

Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) consists of 240 hours of instruction over a six-week period covering general truck driving skills with the hands-on component. Depending on the student’s progress, additional time may be recommended for an additional cost. CVOP 1013 and CVOP 1040 are taught concurrently as one program. Students planning to withdraw from the program must withdraw prior to the course starting, as there are no refunds after the class starts.