USDA Grant Affords OFTC New CTD Trailers | Schools
SANDERSVILLE - With funding from a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant for $199,998 awarded in August of 2011, Oconee Fall Line Technical College has now purchased 4 trailers for use in the College's Commercial Truck Driving program and is in the process of purchasing 3 tractors (or trucks) to help train more drivers needed within the industry.
According to Occupational Supply Demand System, by 2018 national demand will increase by approximately 18.6% for the General Freight category for Heavy Truck Drivers. This translates to 100,000+ new jobs for over the road truck drivers in the next 6 years.
In Georgia, the same segment is expected to grow 14.9% or approximately 8,000 new jobs. This week, according to the American Trucking Association the industry needs between 20,000 and 30,000 new drivers for just this one segment of the industry. The actual numbers will be much larger.
Kathy Ross, USDA Area Director Rural Development, and Michael Curry, USDA Area Specialist, both visited the College's North Campus in Sandersville on September 17th to see one of the new trailers purchased with the grant.
Mr. Curry, also a pastor at Hickory Grove Church in Sparta, Georgia, was interested to learn more about the CTD program offered in his own community.
"OFTC still offers Commercial Truck Driving classes in Sparta," said Roy Williams, OFTC's Dean of Trades & Industrial / Transportation. "The driving range in Sparta is an amazing place to learn to drive. This industry has jobs out there, but interested individuals need to get trained and earn their Commercial Driver's License. We can help them do that. We can also help them find a job when they are done with the program."
“It's been said,” stated Williams, “if we use it, a truck moved it. Our graduates are taught by an amazing faculty with quality trucks and a variety of trailers so that they have experienced first-hand what an employer expects them to know. The equipment from this grant helps our College maintain that high standard for our students.”
Two of the new trailers are currently in Sandersville – one at OFTC's Transportation Center on Kaolin Road and one at the North Campus on Deepstep Road – awaiting the next class to begin. The other two new trailers are at the OFTC South Campus in Dublin and are awaiting license plates so that they too can be on the road. Each of these trailers will be making their way to all 4 of OFTC's CTD class locations.
CTD classes are taught at OFTC's campuses and ranges in Sandersville, Dublin, Louisville, and Sparta, serving Bleckley, Dodge, Glascock, Hancock, Jefferson, Laurens, Telfair, Warren, Washington, Wheeler, and Wilkinson Counties of Georgia.
The next evening CTD class begins in Sandersville on 10/15. Day classes begin on 10/29 in Louisville, 10/29 in Sparta, and on 11/5 in Dublin. Visit http://www.oftc.edu/CTD or visit your nearest OFTC campus to learn more about becoming a commercial truck driver.