GARDEN CITY, Kan. – The need for more truck drivers around the country especially in Southwest Kansas has led to a collaborative effort between Seward County Community College and Garden City Community College.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on Monday between SCCC and GCCC to form a partnership for a Commercial Drivers License/Truck Driving certification program. The program will be administered by SCCC with students taking classes at the GCCC campus.
SCCC President Brad Bennett and GCCC President Ryan Ruda agreed the partnership is beneficial to everyone involved, allowing Seward County to grow its program while providing Garden City a much-needed service.
“Dr. Ruda and I are good friends and we partner on a lot of projects together,” Bennett said. “They have a high demand for CDLs in that area and don’t have any interest in having a program themselves because of the start-up costs. A lot presidents in Kansas believe if schools do things well, let’s leverage those schools and that was our thought process.”
“This has been a conversation that has been ongoing,” Ruda said. “We’ve heard from our industry partners there’s a need for CDL training. It was most important for us to figure out a solution for how we can partner and address that need. We weren’t in a position to bring in a new program.”
The MOU provides for a partnership between GCCC and SCCC for CDL/Truck Driving training in the Garden City Community College service area.
The new agreement will enable students living and working in Garden City and the surrounding service area to remain in their geographic location and take CDL instruction through SCCC on the GCCC campus. The hands-on training courses will be six weeks in duration and offered throughout the year. The first class in Garden City will begin September 5, 2023.
Bennett and Ruda praised the partnership and believe more of these collaborative efforts to benefit and maximize the community are needed.
“We’re excited to help out a partner school,” Bennett said. “It’s really cool when you think about it. We are using our resources to the fullest extent and using state and taxpayer dollars in the best manner that we can. It’s a great partnership.”
“When we have an opportunity to partner with a school that excels in an area like Seward does in truck driving, the question is why (from GCCC’s perspective) should we start from scratch when we can utilize those services,” Ruda said. “It’s a true partnership. This really is the way education should be moving, finding new partnerships to address the needs within different communities.”
Within the CDL program, students learn vehicle equipment control, setup and inspections, basic maneuvering and handling, over-the-road records management, and preventive maintenance. With opportunities for both men and women to become truck drivers, the field is one of the fastest-growing job markets in the country. Students who successfully graduate do so with a full CDL Class A License.
For more information or to enroll in the CDL/Truck Driving program, contact Seward County Community College at 620-417-1652 or email email@example.com.