CVTC course allows high school students to receive truck driving license

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- High school students are taking to the road in Eau Claire as part of a new technical college program aimed at filling a truck driver shortage.

Chippewa Valley Technical College says it's the first-of-its-kind program in the state.

CVTC says the program allows 18-year-old high school seniors in their spring semester take the truck driving course to get their Class A commercial driving license.

The license would allow them to drive anywhere in Wisconsin once they graduate and cross state lines when they turn 21.

There are two programs being offered; one is during the day and is a ten-week course and the other is a night program that runs16-weeks.

Dean of agriculture, energy and transportation Adam Wehling said there are currently five students participating in the program and all are on track to graduate successfully.

“About half the students that have come through have already said they have a job lined up and other student are either going back to work with their family industry or they've got some other job lined up that is related,” explained Wehling. “So, they won't be over the road truckers but they'll be using their Class A CDL.”

He said the new course looks to help address shortages in the truck driving industry.

Wehling added, “In the trucking industry they are thousands of drivers short every day in the state. So what we're trying to do here is to address one small piece of that by getting more high school students that are in the pipe line for training. We see a lot of baby boomers who are retiring and there's not a lot of people replacing it.”

The college says it already has students signing up for the next session.

If you're interested in enrolling, CVTC says students should talk to their administrators or school counselors to work with the college because the plan is to expand the program.

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