Ingram State Commercial Truck Driving Program Meets Industry Need

Transportation is big business in Alabama with employers seeking qualified candidates for jobs in every facet of the supply chain network. J. F. Ingram State Technical College is helping to produce those qualified workers by offering a variety of transportation-related career technical training options.

The newest addition in this area is Commercial Truck Driving. Under the direction of program instructor Allen Johnson, the program enrolled over 30 students in the first 24 months of operation. “Interest in the program was outstanding from the very beginning,” said Johnson. “Even as we paused the program due to COVID students continued to ask about enrolling. They know this is a career field where they can earn good wages and build a promising future.”

To date 17 students have completed the program. In addition to Class “A” driver licenses, the students have also earned endorsements needed to operate certain types of commercial motor vehicles and transport special types of goods. “We have four graduates who earned double, triple, tanker and passenger endorsements in addition to their commercial license,” Johnson explained. “Other students are going to follow their lead because having those credentials opens doors across the industry.” 

Many of the program’s first graduates have already joined the workforce. “Our job placement team has placed five graduates in the workforce and a sixth is working as an instructional aide in the CDL program,” said Johnson. “We were particularly pleased to host a large Alabama-based trucking company recently, two additional graduates received offers of employment during that meeting.”

“This program represents a real accomplishment for Ingram State,” said ISTC president Annette Funderburk. “Initially, it was suggested that the program be limited to preparation for permit testing. However, through our partnership with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency and the Alabama Department of Corrections, students can obtain their permit, practice driving in our simulator and over the road and then take the tests needed to earn a commercial driver license, meaning they are ready to enter the workforce when they exit the program.”