South Louisiana Community College is hoping to bring its Commercial Driving program to Ville Platte in the coming months. The college’s Corporate College division is exploring workforce demands for such a program in Evangeline Parish.
“We’re continually looking at workforce demands throughout Acadiana and we’re finding that there may be a demand for our CDL program in Ville Platte and Evangeline Parish,” said Jermaine Ford, Associate Vice President for Economic and Workforce Development at SLCC.
The program would operate at the college’s C.B. Coreil Campus on Vocational Drive. It’s located just minutes from the I-49 corridor.
To begin the program, the class must include 10 students who meet specific requirements. These include:
Must be 18 years or older for the class (most employers require drivers be 21 years old)
Have a valid driver’s license
Pass a DOT physical
Pass a DOT drug test
Provide a copy of official driving record
The college currently operates CDL programs in Crowley and Morgan City. The program is a seven-week day course and a 10-week evening course.
“Students in the program learn what’s needed to operate diesel-powered tractor-trailer rigs and identify common vehicle components,” said Charlotte Leleux, CDL Program Manager for SLCC. “Students also learn defensive driving skills, drive on rural, urban, and interstate highways, handle cargo, and more.”
The college’s CDL Class A training program is a comprehensive 245-hour (classroom and behind the wheel) covering the DOT rules and regulations, pre-trip inspection, and over the road skills.
In addition, students receive courses covering the new Comprehension Safety Analysis (CSA) regulations involving “Hours of Service”, “Defensive Driving” etc.
The college also offers businesses customized training based on workforce needs. A mobile classroom with simulators helps minimize off-the-road training time.
“Businesses can choose the courses they need to help refine employees’ work skills, provide a skill refresher or additional training. Safety training and insurance requirements can be easily met through the convenient, on-site training options,” said Leleux.
She noted the program can also help experienced drivers hone their skills with a 40-hour refresher course. This program is specifically designed for the experienced driver who held a CDL license in the past. The participant undergoes an assessment process covering pre-trip inspection, backing skills and road test, followed by a recommendation of instruction hours for the required training areas to prepare them for the CDL test. Once new training has been completed, participants can schedule the CDL test onsite as administered by a DOTD approved examiner.
For more information about SLCC’s CDL program, call (337) 521-9028 or (337) 788-7526.