The Liberty County Board of Commissioners and Liberty County Development Authority, working in partnership with Savannah Technical College, have been awarded nearly $60,000 in grant funding through the Defense Community Economic Development Fund to allow expansion of Commercial Truck Driving training for transitioning service members and military spouses. The fund is administered by the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) Office of Workforce Development.
“Fort Stewart is a major economic driver in our regional economy. This grant provides new opportunities for transitioning service members to build great careers close to home in Liberty County,” said Donald Lovette, Chairman of Liberty County Board of Commissioners and a member of the Liberty County Development Authority board.
The College offers Commercial Truck Driver’s License (CTDL) training at its campuses in Liberty County and Effingham County. The training may be completed in five weeks. While there is great demand for this training, including from transitioning service members and military spouses, enrollment is limited by the low instructor-to-student ratios required during the driving portions.
Grant funding allows the College to hire additional part-time faculty to supervise student driving, which will increase enrollment by 64 additional students for the academic year beginning summer semester 2019. Active duty service members, veterans and their spouses will receive priority enrollment in these additional course offerings.
“As a hub for regional transportation, the opportunities for growth in the logistics employment sector are unlimited in Liberty County,” said Allen Brown, Hinesville Mayor and Chairman of the Liberty County Development Authority board. “It is a great fit to have transitioning service members move into one of our area’s growing industries.”
The college has the highest military-affiliated enrollment in TCSG. One in four STC students is a veteran, active duty service member or a military dependent/spouse. For the past three years, the College has been ranked the top Best for Vets public technical and career college in the U.S. by Military Times.
“Employers value the strong work ethic of our military graduates, making them great hires,” said STC President Dr. Kathy S. Love. “We take our commitment to providing opportunities for military students very seriously and are delighted to have this grant to expand truck driving training for service members, veterans and their families.”
Other community partners included in this grant application are Central States Trucking Co., Port City Logistics, Quaker Transport Inc., USO Pathfinder Program (Fort Stewart, Ga.), Liberty County Chamber of Commerce, Liberty County Development Authority and STC Foundation.
Commercial Truck Driving is one of Georgia’s high demand jobs that qualify for the HOPE Career Grant, receiving an additional $1,000. The HOPE Grant offers CTDL students $657, reducing their total out-of-pocket expense to $227, which includes tuition/fees/CDL testing. The next five-week day class for Commercial Truck Driving begins May 28 at both the Effingham and Liberty campus locations. New students interested in enrolling in Commercial Truck Driving must be at least 18 years of age (21 years of age for interstate travel). For a full list of admission requirements, please visit: https://www.savannahtech.edu/programs/commercial-truck-driving/ or contact the Industrial Technology Academic Advisor at 912-443-5859.