Eastern Gateway Community College adding truck driver training program
By Burton Speakman
Eastern Gateway Community College is adding a truck-driver training program in Lisbon as part of the school’s mission to provide new programs in areas where workers are needed.
“Because of all the oil and gas activity, there is more demand for truck drivers,” said Ann Koon, director of public information for the college.
The college already has offered a driving class in Steubenville that was successful, she said.
“We wanted to offer this class a little closer to home for people in Columbiana County,” Koon said.
The Truck Driving Academy/ PEC Safeland Compliance training starts Jan. 6 in Lisbon. The college is just starting registration for the program, she said.
Eastern Gateway partnered with Southern State Community College to bring the program to the area. The driving academy runs for four weeks, and PEC Safeland Compliance requires 24 hours of training. The total cost for the program is $5,300.
Eastern Gateway will provide the PEC Safeland Compliance training, which provides an added credential for the successful student that will be valuable in the marketplace.
Kelly Darney, adult-education director at the Columbiana County Career and Technical Center, said she had broached the idea of the center doing truck-driver training before realizing it could not offer the program on its own.
She approached Eastern Gateway about offering the program because of the need in the area.
“It’s a long way for some of these people from here to Mineral Ridge, Niles or New Castle,” Darney said regarding the location of area truck-driver training programs.
The classes will take place at the CCCTC, and then the driving lessons will occur elsewhere, she said.
The school simply doesn’t have the parking lot space and couldn’t make the financial commitment necessary to start a program on its own, Darney said. She said she is glad to see the training available in Columbiana County.
The training includes the health, safety and environmental training certifications most requested by oilfield operators.
PEC Compliance is SafeLand-accredited and is accepted by every major and most midmajor operators in the U.S., according to information provided by Eastern Gateway. Koon said no additional driving classes are scheduled in the Valley.
The college plans to offer the courses again, but nothing definite has been set.
The Class A CDL and Class B CDL program requires 160 classroom hours for completion.
The four-week program is during the day Monday through Friday.
All of the program’s coursework will be offered by Southern State instructors.
To apply, call 800-628-7722, ext. 4560.