Wilmington, NC — Cape Fear Community College announces today that they have received a grant for $97,607 from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) which will give CFCC the opportunity to award over $50,000 in scholarship assistance for veterans and active duty military seeking a commercial driver’s license (CDL) certificate through CFCC’s Truck Driver Training program.
Grant funds will be used to cover the cost of student fees and/or expenses above the amount that will be covered by veterans and active military educational benefits for qualified students, based on need. In addition, spouses and children of these service members will be eligible to apply for scholarships. “Students can complete the Truck Driver Training certificate program in just ten weeks and a day,” said Dean of Vocational and Technical Education Mark Council. “The demand for licensed CDL drivers continues to grow, and this grant will help area veterans and their families to pursue a high-paying in-demand career immediately after graduation.”
Funds from the grant will also support the hiring of a program-specific Recruiter & Job Placement Specialist, which will actively seek employment opportunities for graduates of CFCC’s Truck Driver Training program and strengthen program-employer relations throughout North Carolina. For graduates who desire to become owner-operators and work as private contract haulers, the recruiter will connect them with CFCC’s Small Business Center for additional assistance.
“With the unemployment rate of North Carolina veterans at 4.5 percent and a great need — now, more than ever — for educated and qualified drivers, I see this as a great opportunity, one that will equip the workforce and mitigate an ongoing unemployment issue for our nation’s heroes,” said Truck Driver Training Program Director Al Gover.
The Truck Driver Training program at CFCC has been training students for over 20 years. The program currently has 11 instructors, over half of which are veterans themselves. “Veterans are not new to Truck Driver Training at CFCC,” said Gover. “Currently, seven of our Truck Driver Training instructors are veterans. It will be great to see them sharing their skills and experience with fellow service members who are pursuing a new adventure.” CFCC also has three CDL examiners on-site, with another being added this month, which offers CFCC students the unique opportunity to take their CDL test on campus before they graduate. “Our students are trained in a variety of trucks, and in diverse road conditions so that they have the best practical experience possible, and they are better prepared for the workforce because of it,” said Vocational and Technical Department Chair Shawn Dixon.
Individuals who are interested in learning more about the Truck Driver Training program and available scholarships should contact the Truck Driver Training Center at 910-362-7320.