Governor Wolf Visits Lehigh Carbon Community College, Visits Commercial Truck Driving Students and Employers
January 09, 2018
Today, Governor Tom Wolf visited Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC) to see the hands-on training provided by the commercial driving program and talk with students and local employers about the growth of the commercial truck driving industry in the Lehigh Valley.
“The commercial trucking industry continues to expand in the Lehigh Valley and that is creating many good-paying family sustaining jobs in this region,” said Governor Wolf. “Not every student wants to go to a four-year college or university, but workers need advanced skills for most in-demand jobs. By bringing together LCCC, employers and the community, training programs like this are creating a pipeline to prepare people for the jobs companies need to fill.”
LCCC’s commercial driver’s license (CDL) program trained 225 people last year. Instruction is provided in both a classroom and using a fleet of LCCC trucks or vehicles provided by businesses. In addition, CDL safety training is conducted for companies such as Wegmans and Amazon.
The CDL Class A course is a 172-hour course that prepares students for the CDL Class A exam to drive tractor trailers. The Class B course is 80 hours and prepares students for the exam to drive school buses, dump trucks or delivery vehicles.
“Lehigh Carbon Community College works closely with area employers to ensure we are meeting their training needs and preparing the workforce for jobs in our area,” said Dr. Ann Bieber, president of Lehigh Carbon Community College. “The visit from Governor Wolf gives us the opportunity to showcase two of our programs – CDL truck driving training and manufacturing – and how they directly relate to the needs of our region, positively impacting economic development.”
Pennsylvania has approximately 80,000 tractor trailer and heavy truck drivers, and nearly 2,300 annual job openings are expected through 2024. In Lehigh Valley and Northampton counties the truck transportation industry has seen tremendous growth with employment increasing 56 percent between 2011 and 2016. Entry-level wages in the region typically start around $32,000 and wages of experienced drivers are nearly $54,000.
After the tour the governor met with LCCC leaders, commercial driving students and local transportation company managers to discuss the growth of the commercial driving industry in the region and the collaboration among the partners.
Lehigh Carbon Community College was founded in 1966 and served 9,740 credit and 4,600 noncredit students in 2015-16 from Lehigh, Carbon, Schuylkill and surrounding counties and offered more than 90 programs of study in business, education, communication, computer science, technology, humanities, health care, science, engineering and math.