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members interested in this lucrative field, with multiple openings, to obtain their Class A Commercial Driver’s License and begin or upskill their careers,” said STC President Larry Calhoun.
More Drivers in the Pipeline
“As residents and businesses across the state work to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to invest in our communities and provide opportunities that will improve the lives of our fellow Georgians,” said Alfredo Rivera, President of The Coca-Cola Company’s North America Operating Unit. “We are proud of our Georgia roots and will continue to do our part to keep Georgia strong.” Businesses and consumers rely on Georgia’s trucking industry, which moves more than 435 million tons of goods across the state each year as the logistics and transportation hub of the Southeast (Georgia Department of Transportation, 2019). Today, this industry is facing challenges, having lost 6% of its workers nationally since the COVID 19 pandemic began, compounding an existing driver shortage that is expected to top 160,000 by 2028 (American Trucking Association, 2019). “Despite the challenges of the last two years, the trucking industry remained steadfast as a foundational driver of the nation’s economy, delivering essential goods to help businesses stay open and to reopen,” said Mark Rahiya, Chief Supply Chain, Technical and Innovation Officer, The Coca-Cola Company. “By supporting TCSG’s Commercial Truck Driving Program trainers and faculty, we’re making sure the next generation of drivers gets a world-class education while simultaneously working to address the driver shortage and provide opportunity for Georgians.” The $1 million investment marks The Coca-Cola Company’s latest effort to help facilitate Georgia’s economic development and support critical job training and opportunities across its home state. By creating 11 new full-time instructor roles and 2 part-time instructor roles, the investment supports TCSG’s greatest need, recruiting and retaining talented trainers.
In addition, the donation supplements the $8.32 million of support from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER II) that will provide facility upgrades, with the goal of doubling enrollment of commercial drivers across Georgia from 1,705 to 3,410 in 2023.
Finally, this investment aims to ensure more drivers are in the pipeline to help fill trucking industry jobs with local Coca-Cola bottler Coca-Cola UNITED and other businesses across the state.
“We are grateful for our partnership with The Coca-Cola Company and Coca-Cola UNITED and look forward to leveraging this investment to attract more best-in-class trainers who are the foundation of our program,” said Greg Dozier, Commissioner, Technical College System of Georgia. “With the expansion of the program, this investment will allow us to prepare more commercial truck drivers to enter the industry, helping to ensure the continued transport of goods upon which we rely across the state.”
Georgia Truck Tour
To raise awareness of TCSG’s Commercial Truck Driving Program and related career opportunities, The Coca-Cola Company is rolling out the “Delivering the Future: The Coca-Cola System & Technical College System of Georgia Truck Tour.” STC is slated to host one stop on the tour on May 17. The “Delivering the Future: The Coca-Cola System & Technical College System of Georgia Truck Tour” will make five stops from May 17 to May 26 and will offer entertainment, refreshments and activities along with the opportunity to learn about Coca-Cola UNITED job opportunities and TCSG’s Commercial Truck Driving Program enrollment process. Other tour stops and dates include: Central Georgia Technical College, Macon Campus; Savannah Technical College, Savannah Campus; Athens Technical College, Athens Campus; Southern Regional Technical College, Tifton Campus.
“In Georgia, we’re fortunate to be able to hire drivers from TCSG’s worldclass Commercial Truck Driving Program. Our goal is to raise awareness of the program and trucking industry opportunities available right in our home state, most specifically the 85 open commercial driving opportunities currently available with Coca-Cola UNITED,” said Gianetta Jones, Vice President and Chief People Officer, Coca-Cola UNITED.
STC’s CTD Program
STC’s Commercial Truck Driving (CTD) Certificate program provides basic training in the principles and skills of commercial truck operations. Designed for individuals seeking a Class A Commercial Driver's License, the program is based on the definition of a truck driver as one who operates a commercial motor vehicle of all different sizes and descriptions on all types of roads.
In addition to classroom instruction, students receive commercial truck driving training on-site and on the road. Day classes meet 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays. Night classes meet from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and include Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The standard curriculum for the Commercial Truck Driving (CTD) program includes three semester courses taught sequentially within the 7½ week-course of study. Although the College operates on the semester system, due to the nature of the coursework, the CTD program operates on part of terms and admits new students five times a year. To graduate, students must earn a minimum of nine semester credit hours. Starting and ending dates may be found by contacting Student Affairs or the program instructor at STC.