STLCC Receives $2.1 Million Grant to Support Truck Driving Program
St. Louis Community College recently earned a $2.1 million grant to bolster the school’s professional truck driving programs through the Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED)’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Workforce Training Grant Program. The funds will help the College transform a five-acre lot on the south end of the STLCC-Forest Park campus into a training area where students get experience driving semitrailers and other large trucks. The College also plans to purchase two new trucks and a simulator that will further expand the program’s capacity.
DED’s grant adds to recent investments by the U.S. EPA and the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development (DHEWD). EPA provided funds to begin offering CDL training focused on the removal of hazardous materials from Brownfield sites. DHEWD provided funds from their MoExcels program this year for lighting and equipment, allowing the College to begin offering evening classes and add a covered structure to protect students from the elements while performing vehicles inspections.
“Given the high demand for truck drivers and diesel engine specialists, most graduates will have guaranteed jobs or employment upon completion of the program,” noted Jeff L. Pittman, Ph.D., chancellor of St. Louis Community College. “This funding is significant because it will allow us to train individuals for high-wage jobs and create a pathway for career advancement.”
Students in STLCC’s truck driving program gain the essential behind-the-wheel driving instruction needed to become a safe professional driver. Training allows students to practice backing maneuvers and basic driving and safety skills prior to receiving instruction on public roadways. Students also use a driving simulator to gain an understanding of speed, space management alongside the motoring public, and safe driving skills with a 53-foot trailer.
The program offers three training options. A student can earn a Hazardous Materials Endorsement (HME) in two days, a CDL-A in two months or a CDL-B in five days.
“STLCC has offered truck driver training since 2015 on an asphalt parking lot originally intended for automobiles only,” explained Phyllis Ellison, STLCC’s associate vice chancellor for workforce development. “With this grant, the College will modernize our facility and program so we can take our training up to the next level.”
While renovation of the truck driving course will begin this spring, enrollment for the program is currently open. Interested students should call 314-644-9786 or visit this page to learn more.