By Melanie Lemons
Amarillo College’s commerical driver’s license (CDL) program offers students the ability to earn between $35,000 and $60,000 annually after going through the 8 week program.
“Currently we have 52 students across our campuses learning ELDT training, (Entry Level Driver Training),” Tony Diaz, program coordinator, said. “In the next three to five years the Truck Driving Academy’s vision is to double the program size in order to meet the needs of the local economy.” he said.
For some students, getting their CDL means being able to improve their situation for them and their families.
“I work at Affiliated Foods right now and dealing with a lot of truck drivers, having friends in the industry and noticing the amount of money they were receiving pushed me into getting my CDL to better my life and my childrens’,” Ashley Molina, CDL student, said. “What I look forward to receiving my CDL is the summers with my kiddos, taking them with me on runs. I enjoy hearing people’s stories about going on the road with their dad when they were young and how much fun it was and I would love to spend some time like that with my kids and make memories together,” she said.
Something shaking up the commercial transportation industry are self-driving and electric semi-trucks according to Diaz.
“I’m not sure if this is anything we will have to worry about in the near future. At this time, based on industry feedback, I don’t foresee the use of electric vehicles to pose any threat to drivers,” Diaz said.
“The best feature about AC’s Truck Driving Program is its culture of caring. Our instructors are not only trained in FMCSA requirements, but we are constantly pushing our staff to learn more about Adult Learning and have a safe place for our students to excel in their learning environment,” Diaz said.
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