GRCC starts Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator Safety Training program with USDOT grant

Oct. 4, 2019 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College will launch a Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator Safety Training program focused on public works with a $79,567 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

GRCC’s Public Works Academy already includes multiple certifications, and the municipalities involved in that partnership -- the cities of Grand Rapids, Kentwood and Grand Haven and road commissions in Kent and Van Buren counties -- are collaborating with the college on the commercial vehicle course.

These municipalities are already feeling what is becoming a national trend: a shortage of people who have completed proper commercial motor vehicle operator safety training. According to the Michigan Bureau of Labor statistics, transportation industry jobs that require a commercial driver license are expected to increase by almost 12 percent through 2024. 

With its Public Works Academy partners, GRCC will recruit adult learners for the new safety training -- specifically, current and former military members, their spouses or their children. Michigan is home to the 11th-largest population of veterans in the nation, and 78,821 reside in the new program’s seven-county target area. 

“We’re proud to respond to the needs of the communities we serve, and these are skills that are great demand right now,” said Julie Parks, executive director for Workforce Training. “We appreciate the U.S. Department of Transportation’s support in helping us provide training to help our residents and the region’s employers.” 

The 150-hour program will be offered in several formats to allow people to gain skills while maintaining their other commitments. These formats involve weekend and evening sessions. 

Potential employers will be involved throughout the training, answering questions, hosting site visits and conducting mock interviews. Students who complete the program are guaranteed at least two interviews.

Students will do their driving at GRCC’s Leslie E. Tassell M-TEC on Godfrey Avenue SW and at municipal- and employer-owned sites in the community. The municipal partners will provide equipment for the program. 

Those interested in learning more, should email or call 616-234-3800. Information sessions will begin in November.

Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for more than 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.


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