NorthWest Arkansas Community College (NWACC) in Bentonville will use a $288,700 grant from the Arkansas Department of Higher Education to establish a commercial driver’s license (CDL) training and truck driving program, according to a Tuesday (Sept. 21) news release.
The college’s Workforce and Economic Development Division was awarded the Regional Workforce Grant Phase II from the state agency. The grant will be used to establish the program that’s expected to launch in phases starting late this fall.
“This technology improvement grant will allow NWACC to support local and regional efforts in attracting and retaining qualified drivers across various industries requiring a commercial delivery license,” said Evetta Aldridge, director of training and community development at NWACC. “Our phased rollout of this program will enhance supply chain efforts as we partner with stakeholders to promote collaboration despite market competition. NWACC is committed to being a premier provider of transportation and supply chain education, and we encourage businesses to support our efforts and job seekers to contact us to learn more.”
NWACC’s new CDL training and truck driving program will offer safety-based classroom instruction and behind-the-wheel training that can be tailored to meet a driver’s career goals. Following are some of the training paths:
- Driver training to prepare for CDL test and obtain class A, B or C license
- Refresher training and licensing for experienced CDL drivers
This fall, NWACC will launch the CDL training and truck driving program with up to 40 hours of classroom instruction that will focus on basic driver safety requirements, in-cab simulation maneuvering and evaluation and readiness assessments. This phase is for drivers who need safety-based and continuing education training and for those re-entering the CDL driver workforce and previously had a CDL license.
According to NWACC’s website, the L3Harris TranSim commercial truck driving simulator will provide hands-on, experiential training for commercial vehicle drivers and offers experience without risk to people or equipment. The design of the TranSim simulator is a replica of a commercial vehicle driving compartment. It simulates the vehicle’s physical and functional characteristics. It also adjusts to the size, weight, turning radius, tire and suspension characteristics for each vehicle that it simulates.
In the spring, NWACC will expand the truck driving program to include 160 hours of classroom instruction and in-cab training on the road.
Link here for updates on when class registration will become available.
Earlier this summer, Northwest Technical Institute (NWTI) in Springdale established a new CDL training program. Starting Feb. 7, 2022, all new CDL drivers must complete a training program before taking the CDL test.