Truck driving school hits the road with renovated facility, increased student enrollment

Published by Molly Kay on

The truck driving school has a modern look with improved outdoor facilities to improve safety and learning. Gerardo Lopez / The Mainstream

Renovations, recently completed on the UCC truck driving school on April 8, promote a better learning environment with additional, improved technology, larger classrooms, yard resurfacing and brand new light posts for evening classes. A grand reopening takes place on May 2 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the truck driving school located at 6482 Dole Rd., Myrtle Creek.

Renovations took approximately two to three months, explained CDL and driver’s ed program coordinator Mathew Godfrey. “It was pretty intense, they moved walls and everything,” Godfrey says.

“It was a night and day difference; we went from wood panels and brick walls; it was definitely old school.”

Mathew Godfrey, CDL and driver ed program coordinator, has created more opportunities for students to enroll in his courses by opening up weekend and evening classes. Robin Bailey / The Mainstream

The trucking school also plans on wrapping the student driving trucks with a unique green vinyl design to better represent UCC students and the school. “If you go around a truck, a green trailer pops because a lot of trailers are white,” Godfrey says.

New logos were also recently added to the trucks and the words “student driver” within the wraps are reflective. “At night I want the student driver wording to pop; I want people to know it’s our school,” Godfrey says.

New signage for the truck driving school has been added to the property, as well as the student driving trucks. Gerardo Lopez / The Mainstream

The building is still being decorated inside with new additions added daily: “They did stuff down there yesterday I haven’t seen yet,” Godfrey says. Godfrey is also planning on hanging up promotional posters from local trucking companies to show students where the course can take them.

The renovations have allowed more students to be taught at the truck driving school: “The next class is increasing by three students,” Godfrey says “students are signed up going into July and the class starting next week is full.” There are 12 seats available for the day classes and six for the evening/weekend classes.

When Godfrey became the program coordinator, he created afternoon classes to make the trucking
school more accessible to more people: “You hear a lot of students complain about having to quit a job to complete the program. When I came up here, that was one thing I tried to change; I wanted to aim for people who were still working so they aren’t quitting just to go to school for a month.”

Day classes in the truck driving school are four weeks long while evening/weekend classes are five weeks. Students will complete lectures in a classroom setting, while also gaining hands-on experience driving semi-trucks.

The truck driving course can lead students to find many different types of jobs. “It varies with the companies that come in and recruit. We ask the students what they are leaning towards, and we try and fit that in with the recruiting. We get a wide range of recruiters from logging, chip hauling, to over the road. I would welcome as many recruiters as possible that would like to come,” Godfrey said over email.

The CDL program costs can be seen on the UCC website; the cost of the program in 2023 was $5,200 which includes the costs of tuition, drug screening, and final third-party test.

Students who might need financial assistance have several resources available to them. Scholarships for CDL students can be applied for on the UCC website, and financial assistance is available from multiple community agencies.

For more information on the CDL course, contact the Community & Workforce Training office at 541-440-4668.

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