Considering a Career as a Commercial Driver? DriveNow with Hampton Roads Transit Program
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By Melissa Reese
WHRO, Project Manager
Tidewater Community College’s Job Skills Training Program and the City of Norfolk’s Norfolk Works program have partnered together with Hampton Roads Transit to provide eligible applicants the opportunity to earn a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) at no cost through the DriveNow Training program.
The DriveNow program is a twelve-week training program that prepares Norfolk City residents for a career as a bus operator with Hampton Roads Transit. Upon completion of the program, residents will not only earn their CDL, but will receive a Virginia Career Readiness Certificate and customer service and workplace essential skills.
Classes will be held Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. The first six weeks of the program will include classroom instruction. Upon successful completion of this portion, participants will be hired as full-time bus operators with Hampton Roads Transit and will receive on-the-job training at a rate of $14.55 an hour. Benefits of employment include medical and dental insurance and opportunities for career advancement and growth. With additional training, bus operators can make up to $20.91 an hour.
Training to receive a CDL can typically cost anywhere between $3,000 and $7,000. Currently, commercial drivers are one of the most sought after positions in the city of Norfolk. Those interested in applying must do so by June 14, 2019. Interested applicants can visit the Norfolk Works website, call 757-763-6064 or visit the Norfolk Works office at 100 Bank Street in Norfolk.
What Can You Do With a CDL?
Armed with a Commercial Driver’s License there are many professions you can pursue. When most people think of commercial drivers they think of heavy and tractor trailer or long haul truck drivers. Long Haul drivers must have a high school diploma and attend a professional truck driving school. They must also possess a CDL. The median pay for a long haul driver is $43,680.
A recent graduate of the Tidewater Community College Truck Driving program Jessica Credle shares, “What I love most about being a truck driver is the freedom the job provides. I’m my own boss. I can take breaks when I need to and schedule work around my schedule.”
Other jobs that require a CDL include:
- Fire and Rescue
- Delivery Truck Driver
- Trucking supervisor
- Terminal manager
- Highway maintenance technician
- Equipment operator
To learn more about the high-demand skilled careers available in our area visit WHRO's American Graduate website.