Increasing employment in the commercial trucking industry is a goal of a newly-launched program from Conexus Indiana and Ivy Tech Community College. The CDL + curriculum, which Ivy Tech says is eligible for federal student loans, will begin January 2021 at five Ivy Tech campuses, with an additional eight locations offering the course later in the year.
The program was developed by Conexus Indiana, who worked with the Indiana Motor Truck Association, Venture Logistics and Ivy Tech, with a grant from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. The state of Indiana is also attempting to make sure CDL + is eligible for Workforce Ready Grants.
Vice President of industry engagement for Conexus, Bryce Carpenter, says truck driver shortages have been an ongoing problem, which has been magnified by COVID-19.
“In response to this ongoing and growing critical need, Conexus Indiana worked with its network of logistics industry leaders to identify the barriers. It became clear quickly that students were held back by the cost of earning a certificate and that companies spent an inordinate amount of time and money training drivers before they could get to work. The CDL+ program addresses all of these obstacles.”
Conexus says the 17-credit hour certificate can be completed in one semester, with students having 160 hours of training for the Class A Commercial Drivers License. The program also includes 121 hours of operation observation, 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training, an 8-week internship and overview of logistics, transportation and intermodal processes.
Ivy Tech President Sue Elspermann says the new program will prepare students for a rewarding career.
“With insight from our industry partners, we designed a program that removes financial barriers for students, gives them educational credits for future career development and delivers a work-ready workforce for trucking companies. This is both a huge step forward for Hoosiers who want a career in the logistics industry and our industry partners who are eager to hire qualified drivers.”