Briefly: Houston Community College CDL program receives $332,000 grant

Check presentation to Houston Community College
From left to right: Dr. Michael Edwards, president of HCC Northeast, Charlene Ward Johnson, HCC District II Trustee, Dr. Margaret Ford Fisher, HCC Chancellor, TWC Commissioner Joe Esparza, Dr. David Vogel, dean of HCC Automotive Technology Center of Excellence, and Martin Garsee, HCC transportation director.

The Houston Community College (HCC) commercial truck driving program recently received a Regional Jobs and Education for Texans (JET) grant from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) in the amount of $332,000.

The grant has afforded HCC to add to its fleet two tractor-trailers with newer technologies like adaptive cruise control, auto braking, lane departure sensors and disc brakes. Students will also benefit from the addition of a fourth full-motion simulator which allows students to get familiar with components and the concepts of truck maneuvers such as shifting, backing, and turning before they get into the vehicle.

“The new simulator increases our capacity to train 25 percent more students than we can accommodate, and these improvements will help assure that HCC graduates are among the best in the industry,” said Chancellor Margaret Ford Fisher, Ed.D.

The Texas Workforce Commission JET program provides grants to eligible entities to purchase and install equipment necessary for the development of career and technical education (CTE) courses or programs that lead to a license, certificate, or post-secondary degree in a high-demand occupation.

“The new trucks introduce students to high technology found in industry and the simulator allows students to train in a safe environment with less stress and helps HCC to prepare students for road conditions found in other regions outside of Texas that include heavy snow or mountainous areas,” said Martin Garsee, HCC transportation director.

HCC offers six and 12-week classes during the day, evenings and weekends. For more information on CDL training, visit

Peterbilt honored for environmental efforts

Peterbilt recently received a 2024 Environment + Energy (E+E) Leader Award for its dedication to sustainability and innovation.

For over a decade, the E+E Leader Awards program has celebrated the exceptional advancements made in the realms of environmental, sustainability and energy management. The award recognizes those who contribute and set new standards in the industry. 

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Peterbilt is committed to reduce emissions and promote sustainability and diverts 13.2 million pounds of waste annually from its operations and also encourages landfill diversion among local suppliers. 82% of this waste is recycled, 17% is fuel blended and 1% is composted.

Peterbilt strategies for waste reduction include using reusable containers instead of single-use packaging, minimizing excess material, reusing materials on-site and improving operational efficiency. Peterbilt also facilitates an annual employee environmental fair to raise sustainability awareness and holds a household hazardous waste collection, promoting diversion of such waste from local landfills in the community. 

“Peterbilt has been at the forefront of environmental excellence for decades, achieving the Zero Waste to Landfill designation over 15 years ago, which recognizes companies that handle waste in environmentally responsible and innovative ways,” said Leon Handt, Peterbilt assistant general manager, operations. “We are very proud to receive the 2024 Environment + Energy Leader Award and remain committed to reducing land and water pollution, emissions and climate impact to ensure a sustainable environment for future generations.”


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