BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — NorthWest Arkansas Community College (NWACC) is rolling out a new Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) training and truck driving program this fall.

The college was recently awarded a $288,700 Regional Workforce Grant Phase from the Arkansas Department of Higher Education and will use that funding to roll out the program in late fall and spring, according to a release from NWACC on Tuesday.

This technology improvement grant will allow NWACC to support local and regional efforts in attracting and retaining qualified drivers across various industries requiring a commercial delivery license,” said NWACC Director of Training & Community Development Evetta Aldridge. “Our phased rollout of this program will enhance supply chain efforts as we partner with stakeholders to promote collaboration despite market competition.”

NWACC’s new CDL training and truck driving will provide behind-the-wheel training customized to a driver’s career goals, along with safety-based classroom instruction.

Training paths include:

  • Driver training to prepare for CDL test and obtain Class A, B or C license 
  • Refresher training and licensing for experienced CDL drivers 

Rollout is scheduled for Fall 2021, when the college will launch the program with classroom instruction (up to 40 hours) that will focus on “basic driver safety requirements, in-cab simulation maneuvering, and evaluation and readiness assessments.”

The school says this phase is ideal for drivers needing safety-based and continuing education training, and for those re-entering the CDL driver workforce (must have previously held a CDL license).

In Spring 2022, NWACC will expand the truck driving program to include 160 hours of classroom instruction and in-cab training on the road.

“NWACC is committed to being a premiere provider of transportation and supply chain education, and we encourage businesses to support our efforts and job seekers to contact us to learn more,” said Aldridge.

To stay up-to-date on when class registration opens for NWACC’s new CDL training and truck driving program, click here.