Carroll Holds Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for New CDL Training Program
On October 20, 2022, Carroll Community College held a special inauguration of the driving range for its new Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) training program located on its Westminster campus. The new range provides local behind-the-wheel training for high-demand careers in the trucking industry.
The College’s corporate and workforce development service, Advantage C, partnered with North American Trade Schools and Carroll County Workforce Development to launch the CDL Training Program in March. The addition of the training range allows students to earn a Maryland Class A Commercial Driver’s License in eight weeks, with the convenience of the entire program being held onsite at Carroll.
Several prominent County and State government officials, local business owners and organization leaders, as well as a recent completer of the program, participated in the ribbon-cutting event, including:
- Ed Rothstein, Carroll County Commissioner, District 5
- Signe Pringle, Deputy Secretary, Maryland Department of Commerce
- Louis Campion, President and CEO, MD Motor Truck Association
- Matt Daly, School Director, North American Trade Schools
- Nicolette Kaszek, Vice President, Human Resources, Performance Foodservice
- Chris Combs, CDL Program Completer and Driver, Tevis Energy
Carroll Answers the CDL Call
“Over the next decade, the U.S. will need over one million new licensed commercial drivers,” said Dr. James D. Ball, President of Carroll Community College. “As our students complete 280 hours of training here on campus, they are ready to test for their license and immediately go to work.”
Deputy Secretary Signe Pringle presented a citation from Mike Gill, Deputy Secretary of Maryland Department of Commerce, to Dr. Ball in recognition of Carroll’s investments in the local workforce and in appreciation of supporting these essential jobs and the communities these workers serve. She commended the College and its partners for meeting the needs of growing industries in the state of Maryland, a strategic location for commercial transportation.
We can’t do it without the drivers. They are the heart and lifeblood that keeps the engine of our economy running smoothly.
Louis Campion spoke about the needs of Maryland Motor Truck Association members, stating that they need, on average, thirty drivers each to meet the demands of their businesses. “The path to the middle class is changing,” said Campion. “It doesn’t require a four-year college degree. If you want a job in this industry, you will have a job.”
Building the CDL Training Program
North American Trade Schools provided the instructors for the program, who were universally praised throughout the ceremony for their hands-on instruction and mentorship of the students. The plan is to train approximately 75 students over the next year.
In addition to the training program, Carroll has developed relationships with regional employers, holding meet-and-greet events between employers and students. Nicolette Kaszek of Performance Foodservice in New Windsor called the College’s CDL program “much needed” and that it was “wonderful to have it in our backyard.”
Chris Combs, who now works for Tevis Energy in Westminster, was one of the first students to complete the program. Though he never thought he would be a truck driver, Chris loves his new job and how it will provide for his family’s future. While acknowledging that it was challenging to go to school while working fulltime and raising kids, it was “a small price to pay to get his family a better life.”
CDL program students may be eligible for tuition support through the College’s partnership with Carroll County Workforce Development and scholarships.