In the course of the past two years, we have partnered with the Susquehanna County Career & Technology Center (SCCTC) to construct a CDL training school on the campus in Springville. The start of classes was delayed until June 22 by the coronavirus pandemic, but the first group of CDL graduates have finished their five and 10 week courses, completed online permitting, and moved on to road testing.
As of last month, eight of nine daytime students enrolled in the first CDL classes had taken their driver’s test at a certified third-party CDL testing site in Lackawanna County. Seven of those eight passed the road test on their first try, and the eighth went back the following week and successfully completed the exam.
Five night students, whose course takes 10 weeks, have also completed permitting and began road testing last month. While the graduation rate is certainly impressive, daytime instructor Dale Fisher maintains, “We are not trying to push anyone through the program. We want to make sure that we are putting safe drivers on the road.” The school offers additional practice time behind the wheel for anyone who requests it prior to testing.
Brian Eso’s night students were also excited about their upcoming road tests. One of Eso’s students, John Phillips of New Milford, picked up additional endorsements for driving double and triple trailers.
Upon passing the road test, each will finish with a CDL Class A license with tanker endorsement. That’s when the job searches begin for most of the students. Four students in Eso’s class took the course for advancement within their current companies. Fisher said that Holcombe Energy Resource and Linde Corporation may be first in line to snag a couple of the new drivers, but each student feels confident of obtaining a new job with family-sustaining wages.
Creating certified drivers to fill vacancies at Cabot’s subsidiary, GDS, and among our industry partners was just one goal when we approached SCCTC administrators to talk about the potential for a training center. In addition to Cabot, key investors in the school included Meshoppen Stone and subsidiaries Susquehanna Gas Field Services and Diaz Companies. All investors share a common goal of creating jobs.
SCCTC’s Executive Director, Alice Davis, and Superintendent Ken Cuomo took our combined vision and ran with it, knowing that collaborations between the school and businesses like Cabot have put a lot of local people directly into good-paying jobs. We congratulate the first CDL graduates of the training center and wish the best for the next group of students!