Kiamichi Tech in Poteau teams up with Central Technology Center to help students learn and test for their CDL.
POTEAU, Okla. — For the first time, Kiamichi Tech – Poteau is offering students a chance to work on obtaining their Class A Commercial Drivers License (CDL). The Workforce & Economic Development team at Kiamichi Tech – Poteau has teamed up with Central Technology Center from Drumright, Oklahoma to make this course a reality.
The course spans about four weeks and takes students through classroom instruction, learning about the trucks hands-on, to real-world driving exercises to prepare them for their CDL test at the end of the course.
On Tuesday, the first group of students were hitting the road for the first time, all with the help of their instructor, Tyrone Thiede.
Thiede has been teaching drivers for more than two decades. He says right now is one of the most important times to build up the workforce because of a truck driver shortage that has created more than 50,000 job openings.
“We’re not in it to make money,” says Thiede. “We’re in it to teach and to get these drivers into our workforce.”
Men and women have gone through training courses with Thiede and he has witnessed many accomplish dreams and change their lives. But he says they do all the work.
“I don’t feel I do anything other than show them how to get to where they want to be,” said Thiede. “It gives me a kind of feel-good attitude when I see someone actually progress and actually make a career out of this.”
Amos Hall is one of the students currently enrolled in the CDL training course. He says there is a lot of learning but the payoff is worth it.
“There’s a little pressure, but it’s a big accomplishment,” Hall said.
Hall was approached by his work about getting his CDL. With a shortage of drivers and a need to be filled, Hall was eager to take on the opportunity.
The class costs about $4,800 but covers the permit fees for each driver, the cost of instruction and for anyone at the Drumright campus, their cost of living.
At Kiamichi Tech – Poteau, the Workforce & Economic Development team has already put together a November class which has completely filled up.
With multiple satellite training classes and the success of filling two already in Poteau, Thiede is excited for the future of helping more drivers acquire their CDL and get into the workforce.
“As far as more in the future, if they keep going the way this one is going, if the next one is the same, I would say then hopefully there will be more,” said Thiede.
For more training opportunities offered by Kiamichi Tech – Poteau, anyone interested is encouraged to visit their website for more information.
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