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Ready for the road: WCCS graduates first CDL program students

Wallace Community College – Selma (WCCS) celebrated the first group of students to complete the institution’s Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) program on Monday afternoon at Craig Field.

According to WCCS CDL Instructor Tyrone Hatcher, five people earned their CDL certification on Monday and there are currently 11 more on track to earn their CDL in the program.

Hatcher said that earning a CDL creates an array of career opportunities.

“There’s so many things you can do,” he said. “Having a CDL opens up so many possibilities.”

WCCS Dean of Instruction Raji Gourdine said WCCS began to devise a CDL program in November, 2019 after hearing local businesses and industries express a need for truck drivers in the area.

“Here at Wallace, we try to be responsive to business and industry needs,” said Gourdine. “We were happy to step up and offer this program.”

Gourdine said that the program has already established relationships with companies to provide potential employment opportunities to WCCS’s new CDL holders.

Gourdine said those who complete the WCCS CDL Program will have the opportunity to meet with companies like McElroy Truck Lines, Inc., Wiley Sanders Truck Lines, Inc., Bama Budweiser, Coca Cola and Pepsi.

“We’re really excited about this program,” said Gourdine.

According to Gourdine, the program is available at WCCS and the institution’s Demopolis Campus.

Gourdine said there are 90 people on the waiting list to enter the eight-week program and that WCCS is hiring part-time instructors to meet the increasing demand.

Gourdine thanked Alabama Community College System Board Member Chuck Smith, WCCS Technical Chair Calvin Griffin and Clifford Hunter of the Alabama Career Center for their assistance in establishing the program.

For more information about the CDL program at WCCS, visit wccs.edu and search “CDL.