As the demand for trade jobs increase, Lubbock takes the steps needed to ensure open positions are filled. This is evident in the partnerships made across the city to improve the quality of life for citizens, continue the growth in our economy and equip the future workforce with the skills needed. A recent example of cross-city collaborations occurred between the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance (LEDA) and Workforce Solutions to purchase four state-of-the-art semi-truck Virage simulators for the South Plains College (SPC) Professional Driver Training program. Together, their efforts are resulting in ready and skilled applicants joining the in-demand field of trucking. 

In order to enhance the training experience and recruitment efforts, the program was in need of updated technology. The simulators are ready to be used at the SPC Reese Technology Center. This newly developed behind-the-wheel training will provide students with the skills needed to become certified as well as maneuver through driving conditions they may be unfamiliar with due to the location of the program. These conditions include a diverse range of geological scenarios such as mountain ranges as well as weather-related situations like heavy snowfall. The simulators will also have the capability to track each individual’s progress and communicate areas in need of improvement to the instructor. 

The addition of this new technology will also allow for classes to expand in size. By having the means to teach in the classroom, with the simulators, as well as real-time on the road, classes can accommodate more students. In fact, this program is open to all who are interested above the age of 18, have graduated from high school or earned their GED and possess a valid Class C Texas Drivers License. Because the need for professional drivers is so high, LEDA, Workforce Solutions and South Plains College are eager to enhance the training experience for the future workforce. 

 By investing in the equipment required for proper training, students of the program can acquire the skills it takes to become CDL certified and earn their permit. During the course, the students are trained for Class A licensing as well as familiarizing themselves with the Department of Transportation rules and regulations. Students will also receive preparation for the written exam while gaining general truck driving skills. The education provided is directly coordinated by the Department of Transportation. The 210-hour program begins new classes every two weeks. 

The demand for professional truck drivers is continuously increasing. In the past year, there have been over 500,000 professional truck-and-trailer job postings in the state of Texas. As students begin searching for a position upon completion of the program, a plethora of entry-level jobs are available. 

LEDA is pleased with the development of Lubbock’s future workforce and looks forward to the future growth of the driving industry. The effort to update and enhance training programs in our great city has shown continuous progress within the next generation of workers. 

If you are interested in a job in driving and would like to learn more about the South Plains College Professional Truck Driving program, click here.