Home Lifestyle RichmondCC’s first Truck Driver Training class has 100 percent completion rate

RichmondCC’s first Truck Driver Training class has 100 percent completion rate

Richmond Community College held its graduation for the Truck Driver Training program on Dec. 9 with 18 students completing the program, in addition to five students who completed the Behind-the-Wheel Training program. Photos by RichmondCC

HAMLET — Nine weeks ago, 18 students enrolled in Richmond Community College’s Truck Driver Training program. On Dec. 9, all 18 students graduated from the program, in addition to five students who completed the Behind-the-Wheel Training program.

This class, which included both men and women, also accumulated over 30 commercial endorsements through the course of the program. These endorsements allow the drivers to operate different types of vehicles, such as a tanker truck, a hazardous materials truck, a school bus, a double or triple trailer.

Richmond Community College has put a lot of work into developing its own Truck Driver Training program, so it was a special day for the College to see the fruits of its labor. Dr. Dale McInnis, who has been president of RichmondCC since 2010, noted the uniqueness of this graduation ceremony.

“I’ve resided over dozens of graduations, but this one is the best because it’s the first one where we ever had, to my knowledge, with 100 percent completion,” McInnis said. “I am grateful to everyone who made it happen. Dedicated, encouraging and patient — all those adjectives apply to everyone who went through the program and to the staff who stood behind us to help get it started.”

“Being the first class is challenging, but you all were the right students for this class,” Dean of Corporate and Continuing Education John Kester said to the students. “Your patience and perseverance will not only improve the program, but also be valuable to you in your future endeavors.”

Earvin Dixon

Earvin Dixon, a graduate of the program, talked about the challenges of the program and the support everyone in the class showed each other to get through the written and driving tests.

“I would also like to thank the people who believed and supported us from day one. Without you, none of this would have been possible,” Dixon said during the ceremony. “On this day, we shall look forward to new careers and much more to come. We are very grateful to be the very first graduates of the Richmond Community College CDL class.”

Dixon was very eager to get into the program when he heard about it over the summer. He registered for the program in September while it was still in its development stages. On the day he signed up, he took a picture with one of the rigs parked on campus, hoping he would be behind the wheel of that truck before long.

Dixon, who had worked in a plant environment for many years, was ready for a career change.

“I wanted to be out on my own, to see the world, do different things,” said Dixon, who continued to work part time while in the program.


He now has multiple trucking job offers, so he has a big decision to make.

“I would like to use my endorsements to haul chemicals, like gas or propane, something local where I can be home every day or every other day,” Dixon said.

A special award was also established for the Truck Driver Training program. RichmondCC Foundation board member Kay Cavendish established the George W. Brown Truck Driver Award in honor of her brother. The award is to be presented to a student in each class who exemplifies teamwork, a willingness to help others, and exceptional skills in driving a truck. He or she should also demonstrate punctuality, good communication skills, and respectfulness toward others.

The first winner of the George W. Brown Truck Driver Award was Eric Reynolds.

Eric Reynolds

Sen. Tom McInnis, who was instrumental in helping secure state funding for short-term training programs like truck driving, was also present at the ceremony. He spoke about the changes coming to the trucking industry with the development of new technology.

“You guys and girls are on the cutting edge. You’re going to be able to handle millions of dollars worth of property and equipment and get it to its destination safely and in a timely manner because you have been properly trained,” the senator said. “All I tell you, is look for the moon and shoot for the stars because the opportunity is here for you.”

The next Truck Driver Training program at RichmondCC will run Jan. 9 through March 13. Mandatory orientation is Wednesday, Dec. 14, at 9 a.m. at the Morgan Center on the Scotland County Campus. Another class starts March 20. To learn more, call (910) 410-1700.

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