St. Louis college launches CDL refresher course in February

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Gary Thompson, a driver in the college’s training program, poses for a picture in one of the training rigs. (Image Courtesy of WorkForce Solutions Group)Gary Thompson, a driver in the college’s training program, poses for a picture in one of the training rigs. (Image Courtesy of WorkForce Solutions Group)

If you’re looking to get back into trucking after some time away from the wheel, you may be surprised to find that your would-be employer may want you to take a CDL refresher course first.

St. Louis Community College has you covered.

The college is launching a CDL refresher course in February for drivers who want to brush up on their skills or who have been asked to do so by potential employers.

“There’s a lot of folks out there that have a CDL but maybe got away from truck driving and want to get back in the industry, and the truck driving companies will tell them it’s required,” said Rene Dulle, project manager for Workforce Solutions Group at the college.  “They need to go back for that refresher training before they can be rehired.”

The college’s new CDL refresher course is a 20-hour private lesson. The cost is $1,200. Prospective students may contact the college’s Workforce Solutions Group, which established the school’s trucking program, directly and they will schedule the training for a time that is convenient for the student. +

“It’s a private lesson, so it’s really worth it,” Dulle said.

The college’s trucking program was established almost two years ago with the help of a Department of Labor grant. The college was able to offer its CDL training program tuition-free for those two years. About 200 students have graduated from the program thus far.

It is now transitioning off the grant and will begin charging tuition for its regular CDL training classes in February. The Class A CDL training program is 5 weeks long and will cost $5,000 plus a drug test and physical fee. The Class B CDL training program is a two week program for $1,750.

“Our program tends to be a little bit longer than others. We feel five weeks and 200 hours really allows us to provide a quality training program,” Dulle said. “You’re not just learning the skills. You’re also learning what it’s like to be a truck driver, learning the industry. Our students come out really well-rounded and ready for the job.”