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Northeast Alabama Community College gets new CDL simulator for students

Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 10:58 PM CDT
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SCOTTSBORO Ala. (WAFF) - Like many businesses over the past year, the trucking industry has been hit with shortages due to the pandemic.

But new equipment and a new program at Northeast Alabama Community College could help get new drivers on the road.

In 2019, the CDL Truck Driving Program was created at Northeast Alabama Community College in Scottsboro. Right now, more than 16,00 jobs have been posted this year within a 50-mile radius of the college.

To help fill the shortage and properly train, lead CDL instructor Chris Peek purchased a new CDL simulator for students.

The objective of the CDL simulator is to provide 4 weeks of behind-the-wheel, hands-on training for students.

Peek said the safety of the students is the most important thing.

”This is where a lot of training can be done in-house, in a safe environment, away from any sort of incidents that might can happen on the road as we would train.

The simulator even provides feedback so the students can learn from it.

It has a dashboard, headlights, brakes, automatic transmission and it takes drivers through multiple emergency scenarios.

Once students complete their training and successfully pass testing, recruiters will help with job placement, which Peek said is a great benefit to the program.

”Many local and nationwide trucking companies that we work with, we send recruiters here, I setup days for them to come and speak to the students and show them what’s available whether they want to go on the road to Washington State or if they want to be home every night at a local job,” said Peek.

Peek said on average there are more than 700 CDL job posting per month just in DeKalb and Jackson Counties.

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