KLAMATH FALLS — Klamath Community College is pleased to announce the college has received a $141,000 grant to provide commercial driver’s license training to military veterans.
Through this U.S. Department of Transportation grant, KCC can provide scholarships to current and former members of the military, including National Guard members and reservists, and/or their family members, who are enrolled in KCC’s commercial driver’s license (CDL) program.
“The United States is experiencing a massive shortage of commercial drivers. Veterans who complete this comprehensive five-week CDL program will gain opportunity in an in-demand industry that pays living wages, in Oregon and across the country. The benefits of these scholarships will ripple through the entire region,” said Charles “Chip” Massie, executive director of external programs at KCC.
Eligible current and former members of the military and/or their family members may qualify to have the entire program cost paid by this grant. CDL program participants receive interstate arterial highway driving training that encompasses nearby Jackson County, Ore., and the Interstate-5 corridor.
“The KCC CDL training program provides students — both in the classroom and behind the wheel — enhanced safety training so they are fully prepared for the challenges of safely operating a commercial motor vehicle in a variety of conditions through rural, urban, and interstate routes,” Massie said.
The KCC commercial driver’s license training is safety-focused and incorporates a hazardous materials certification that improves student employability and enhances driver safety. Program staff also provide placement services to assist students in securing employment in the transportation industry — helping ensure a smooth transition to civilian life for those currently in active service.
“This grant has the potential to help a lot of veterans who may be struggling economically during the pandemic. It will also provide a valuable skill that will serve veterans now, and into the future with respect to economic stability,” said KCC Veterans Services Director Tracy Heap.
For eight consecutive years, the Military Friendly Advisory Council has designated KCC a “Military Friendly” school. KCC has also been designated a “Military Friendly Spouse” school for the past three years.
To meet federal regulations, a CDL driver who crosses state lines or carries hazardous materials must be 21 years old or older, have no prior disqualifying criminal offenses, have a medical examination self-certification, have a current driver’s license, and provide a driver history. Students must log a total of 140 hours to complete the program.