HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Calhoun Community College has seen an influx in enrollment after a federal regulation requires entry-level truck drivers to complete training.
“We're booked through right now. We opened registration on March 23 for our upcoming weekend class in May, and it filled that same day. That was actually the first time I've ever seen a class fill in one day, not even a day,” said Workforce Solutions Assistant, Jillian Christensen.
Christensen said she’s been at Calhoun Community College for ten years and believes the reason for this influx is ‘ELDT rule’, or ‘entry-level driver training’ rule that went into effect on February 7th.
“So in February of this year, there was a new regulation put in place that if you did not already have your CDL learner's permit, you were going to be required to get your training program. That in itself changed a lot in the CDL world because before, people were allowed to go to the DMV, take the written test, and if they knew how to drive they could come for a skills test,” said Christensen.
Classes are full, and Christensen said there is a waitlist. “It depends, I think I have thirty people on the waitlist, which we only have ten seats. And it is first come first serve. But we do have classes monthly which we try to offset that. Our next class is actually going to be an evening program, and we try to work with people’s schedule.
Christensen said this is helpful for truck driving companies in the Tennessee Valley. “We have had many companies that are that you know, they used to do skills testing, and now they're having to go through training.
So, we offer a 40 hour option for companies that they need automatic training that are doing local driving only, and they can reach out to us for that. So that does help in our area. If they're local. We can do a one-week course,” she said.