Dabney S. Lancaster Community College of Clifton Forge is partnering with Van Buren, Ark.-based USA Truck, Inc. to expand employment opportunities for students who complete the college’s truck driver training program and earn a commercial driver’s license (CDL) through the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.
Upon completion, individuals will be considered for immediate hiring as a student driver and scheduled on routes with veteran USA Truck driver team members. This mutually beneficial trial period is designed for new hires to gain experience while company officials assess their performance and determine if they meet the qualifications set for permanent positions, which offer higher pay, excellent benefits and chances for advancement.
Instructor Bill Tiffany of Clifton Forge, who joined DSLCC after a successful career with UPS, directs the college’s CDL program. In addition to ensuring that students cover all of the material needed to pass the CDL exam, Tiffany is passionate about stressing the need for competence, excellence and professionalism on the job. He and his fellow CDL instructors work with each individual to assess their previous history, customize training and assist in finding a suitable job.
“We want to get our students on the road in paying positions as soon as possible so that they gain experience and confidence; this will serve them well when they apply for permanent jobs,” Tiffany said. “It is important that the college has business partners that appreciate quality and want to hire those with the right training and the right attitude. USA Truck is just that kind of company. This is a win-win situation, since we can put students right to work and the company has access to a pipeline of future drivers.”
Steve Brantley, USA Truck’s manager for driver recruiting, expressed an interest in hiring DSLCC’s qualified CDL training program graduates who seek driving jobs. Tiffany will work closely with Brantley to post materials about USA Truck job openings at the college and share numerous opportunities that the company offers.
“We are excited about partnering with DSLCC in this venture,” Brantley said. “We are always looking for safe, well-qualified drivers to join our team, and we believe this program will be a tremendous asset in our recruiting efforts.”
DSLCC President Dr. Richard Teaff described the college’s partnership with USA Truck as another example of Tiffany’s initiative in developing and growing the college’s CDL program.
“Bill has reached out to employers and secured donations for the program, including gifts of vehicles for student practice,” Teaff said. “With his guidance based on decades of driving experience, I am certain that the number of partnerships, like the one Bill secured with USA Truck, will continue to grow, and more and more individuals will view the DSLCC CDL program as a pathway to employment.”
The independent National Transportation Institute (NTI) as part of its 2011 Survey of Driver Wages named USA Truck a Top Pay Carrier. Noted for excellence in the categories of driver pay, health and retirement benefits, and financial stability, the company was in the top 20 percent of all carriers nationwide.
Founded in 1983, USA Truck is a medium-haul, dry van truckload carrier. The company transports general commodities via its General Freight and Dedicated Freight service offerings throughout the continental U.S. and into and out of portions of Canada. USA Truck also transports general commodities into and out of Mexico by allowing through-trailer service from its terminal in Laredo, Texas.
The next scheduled CDL course at DSLCC will begin Saturday, Nov. 5; other sessions will be scheduled for the spring, 2012, semester. For more information, contact Bill Tiffany at (540) 863-2919 or email firstname.lastname@example.org:email@example.com.
Submitted by Judy Clark, Public Relations and Non-Credit Coordinator, Dabney S. Lancaster Community College