|September 12, 2013
Opportunities expand for new CDL drivers with help from DHRD
By Alyssa Nenemay
DHRD Transit: The CS&KTís Department of Human Resources provided and eight week training for 23 participants to receive their Commercial Driverís License. The program graduated 12 male and 11 female participants. (Photo By Alyssa Nenemay)
PABLO ó The local transportation industry added 23 new certified drivers to its roster as the group completed an eight-week summer training program hosted by CS&KTís Department of Human Resources Development (DHRD). Upon completion, each participant received a commercial driverís license (CDL)
ďThis was a very intense training and Iím so excited that there were so many participants that were dedicated to see it through. They gave up their summers for this and Iím excited to see where their careers will go from here,Ē said the programís coordinator Roxanne Coleman.
With hands-on training provided by certified Salish Kootenai College instructors, funding for the program was provided by a competitive $255,000 training grant awarded through the Federal Transit Administration department. Those who completed the training received Class A and Class B certification that enables them to operate vehicles that weigh over 26,000 poundsĖ with 16 or more passengers.
ďThe best part about the training was that is was very hands on. There was a lot of memorization and we really had to study but it was well done. They really took the time to show us how the material applied,Ē said training participant Naomi Robinson.
Most of the programís participants were already employed but required a commercial driverís license to continue. Some participants came from Head Start, Kicking Horse Job Corps, and the DHRD Transportation Program, which has plans to expand its services. ďThis training is an excellent opportunity for them to enhance their driving abilities and it opens new doors for employment,Ē said SKCís lead truck instructor Dennis Talbott.
DHRD will be hosting similar program next summer to offer the public another opportunity to receive their commercial driverís license. Coleman said the program is hoping to attract to up to 45 participants in its next cycle. For more information contact DHRD transit director Corky Sias at (406) 675-2700, ext. 1360.