WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published January 03, 2010, 10:13 PM

Commercial Vehicles Operation Job Fair

Even with the economy still struggling, some industries are beginning to rebound.

By: Christine Boggy, WDAZ

Even with the economy still struggling, some industries are beginning to rebound.

In fact, area trucking companies came to Northland Community and Technical College asking them to start a program so there are more potential drivers.

At the request of transportation companies, Northland has put together a Commercial Vehicles Operations Program, to get students certified and into the workforce.

This week graduates will have a chance to meet face-to-face with potential employers.

It's an often overlooked career but one that is vitally important to this country. Now with not only North Dakota oil companies in need of drivers, but others as well, the demand for workers with a Commercial Drivers License is on the rise.

Kent Hanson/Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs: "The industry has a need for truck drivers and we want to be a part of serving that need."

In response, Northland Community and Technical College, trucking companies and workforce development organizations, have come together and launched a 16-week Commercial Vehicles Operation program. The program is intended to give students their CDL, and get them into the workforce.

Hanson: "It's really a good cooperative venture between the college business and industry, and the workforce center."

This Thursday a Commercial Vehicles Operation program job fair is being held at the East Grand Forks campus for graduating students. It will put them directly in front of companies. The job fair is also intended to show the advantages of the program and the possibilities for those who have not yet enrolled.

Hanson: "Normally programs run, students graduate, and they just sort of are left to do their own thing but the goal here is really to connect graduates and employers for a specific program."

More than 100-thousand new drivers are expected to be hired across the United States over the next few years. Because of that, the first time the program was offered in September it was nearly full, and it's anticipated that next semester will have even more students.

Hanson: "We are serving a need to get displaced workers back to work and with the high demand area such a truck driving this program has given folks and opportunity to get to work and earn a decent wage."