Bangor — On May 16th, Northern Maine Community College’s Commercial Driving Academy begins training its first cohort of students in the Bangor area. Traditionally held on NMCC campus in Presque Isle, the training is expanding southward to match the growing demand for commercial drivers, leveraging NMCC’s already-established training program. With funds from the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan, as well as the Harold Alfond Center for the Advancement of Maine’s Workforce, training will be provided at no cost to selected trainees, with all tuition and fees covered by workforce grants.
The Academy provides a blend of classroom instruction and hands-on driving to prepare graduates to earn a Class A CDL license, as well as potential endorsements in hazmat, air brakes, and operating doubles, triples, or tankers. To be eligible, applicants must interview with the program coordinator; have a valid Maine driver’s license and undergo a review of their driving record complete a DOT physical with a negative pre-entrance FMCSA controlled substance test; have earned a high school diploma, GED or HiSET; provide proof of immunization, and be at least 18 years old. If selected to participate, the grant will also pay for the DOT physical and drug testing as part of the course.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports commercial truck drivers in the U.S. earning an average salary of over $50,000 in 2021, with Maine’s average at $46,000. However, high demand for long-haul truckers, and other specialists, has driven up many salaries to exceed $100,000.
“Maine has a long trucking history, supporting logging, agriculture, and various transportation-dependent industries,” NMCC Instructor Dennis Dyer said. “We’re seeing graduates approached with multiple job offers locally, regionally, and nationally—this career path is what you make of it. The past two years have highlighted the importance of commercial drivers, and we’re happy to be able to meet that workforce need in greater Bangor. With tuition and costs covered, this can be a life-changing opportunity for those looking to begin a career in trucking.”
Classes will be held on Eastern Maine Community College campus and will continue for 8 weeks. Interested applicants can learn more by visiting nmcc.edu or contacting program coordinator Leah Buck at (207) 768-2768 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
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