South Georgia Tech’s New CDL Initiative Helps Area Businesses

South Georgia Tech’s New CDL Initiative Helps Area Businesses

Posted at 1:38 p.m. on Wednesday, August 31, 2022

From staff reports

AMERICUS – South Georgia Technical College is “going the extra mile” by working with area businesses and industries to help ease the shortage of trained commercial truck drivers by offering a two-week course for those already employed who need Class A and B commercial restricted. trucker certifications to perform their current duties.

“This is a win-win situation for employers and employees alike,” said South Georgia Technical College President Dr. John Watford. “The South Georgia Technical College Commercial Truck Driver Program is now offering the two-week CDL courses to commercial and industrial partners who have employees who will benefit from Class A and Class B Restricted Licenses. Robert Cook, our lead instructor, worked on this project and it allows us to provide the necessary workforce development training to our business partners and their employees. »

CDL SGTC Instructor Robert Cook has spoken with Electric Membership Cooperatives (EMCs) across Georgia about the new program and has previously provided training for Georgia Power, Caterpillar, John Deere and several EMCs across Georgia. Georgia. It also conducts training for employees of the City of Albany and other local municipalities and businesses. See video:

This program was launched in response to the new Novice Driver Training (ELDT) requirements passed on February 7e, 2022 which states that all novice drivers will be subject to the requirements of the FMCSA Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) regulations. One of the changes included training by a provider on the Training Provider Registry before they were allowed to take the CDL Skills Test or the H Approval Knowledge Test. South Georgia Tech is a training provider accredited.

The new SGTC CDL programs allow companies to schedule training for their employees for a week on campus and then a week onsite before they return to South Georgia Technical College to test restrictive Class A and Class B licensing. This program is very affordable for students who qualify for the HOPE Scholarship and the HOPE Career Scholarship. Many employers cover the costs.

“With the current shortage of commercial truck drivers, South Georgia Technical College is able to help meet the demand from our local businesses and business partners,” explained Chairman Watford. “Almost every segment of product movement in the United States involves trucks and training operators – whether bringing raw materials to a plant or delivering a finished product to a retail store and every step in between South Georgia Tech has a nearly 100% job placement rate for its graduates with commercial truck driver’s licenses.

Velma Hodges, administrative manager of utility operations for the city of Albany, is pleased with the new program. “It’s very beneficial because the majority of our positions require a CDL and South Georgia Technical College is convenient and reliable. SGTC CDL Instructor Robert Cook was very helpful, professional and reliable. We really appreciate South Georgia Technical College for helping us with this training.

Hodges explained that “the majority of our positions require a CDL within six months of the hire date. We’ve been struggling since February, when the new Novice Driver Training Regulations went into effect, requiring all novice commercial vehicle drivers to receive training from a provider on the FMCSA Training Provider Registry. Before that, we could have someone in-house to train them. We are satisfied with the program training provided by South Georgia Tech.

South Georgia Technical College was already offering this CDL training to all power lineman students enrolled in its power lineman training program as well as the Caterpillar Heavy Equipment Dealer Service Technology and Agricultural Technology programs. John Deere. This allowed them to drive service trucks for Caterpillar, John Deere and utility companies. After the new regulations took effect, South Georgia Tech extended this training to existing partners’ employees who needed it.

“We see a huge need for this training,” said SGTC CDL Lead Instructor Robert Cook. “Right now, there is a high demand for licensed truckers. This program allows us to meet the needs of businesses and industry who need drivers for their service and delivery trucks. By training here one week and then allowing them to continue their training on-site at their company the second week, we can train more people and get them back to work faster. »

Thomas Toomer, an employee of the City of Albany’s Utilities Division, is one of the students who enrolled in the program. “I would highly recommend this program to anyone needing their CDL. Mr. Robert Cook is an excellent instructor and he presented the material in an interesting and informative way. There are a lot of opportunities right now for CDL drivers and I appreciate the City of Albany for allowing me to enroll in this program.

Another City of Albany employee in training is Devin Adam Dockery. “I appreciate the opportunity to participate in this program. It gives me the ability to become a safer and more informed driver. Jaxon Cole Floyd joined Dockery and Toomer in the organized roster for the city of Albany. “It was a great experience. Mr. Cook is an excellent instructor and I really enjoyed my time here learning to become a certified driver.

South Georgia Technical College also offers an eight-week commercial truck driver program open to 18-year-olds for students who provide a motor vehicle report showing no more than eight points or four displacement violations on the scale Georgia offenders over the past three years. years and no DUI in the past five years. Students also have a valid Georgia driver’s license, a valid AP (CDL Learner’s Permit), and pass a Department of Transportation drug test and DOT physical exam.

For more information about the two- or eight-week CDL program at South Georgia Technical College, contact SGTC CDL Instructor Robert Cook at or 229-931-2976. For more information on applying to South Georgia Technical College, visit the SGTC website at and click Apply Now or contact Admissions Director Candie Walters at or at 229 931-2299.

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