VAN WERT — The demand for truck drivers is increasing rapidly. In the next few years, nearly 900,000 new drivers will be needed. Programs like the Vantage CDL class will be critical in trying to fill the need.

The 200-hour CDL Training program at Vantage is designed specifically to help prepare students to pass the Commercial Driver License (CDL) test and cover the topics they will need to succeed in the trucking industry as a professional truck driver. Students receive 50 hours of classroom instruction and 150 hours of hands-on training. As an added bonus, students who do not have their high school diploma will have the opportunity to obtain their high school diploma equivalency at the same time as the CDL class.

The Vantage CDL program “re-boot” is now under the direction of Jim Rosen, who has over 22 years of experience as a CDL training instructor. He is a former over-the-road truck driver for Schneider National Carriers and a veteran of the US Army. Rosen has also served as the CDL Training Manager at Apollo Career Center.

Chuck Peters, one of the instructors for the program, noted that students who successfully complete the program and earn their CDL could make between $50,000 to $60,000 a year to start, with more money possible after a few years of driving experience.

The cost of the CDL program is $4,800, but Vantage has been awarded a grant from the OhioMeansJobs Workforce Development Revolving Loan Fund that would pay much of the cost of the class for qualifying students.

The next daytime class is scheduled to begin June 4. Classes run five days a week for five weeks 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Night/weekend classes begin May 7 and run Monday through Thursday 5-9 p.m. and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

For enrollment requirements and financial aid information, please visit our website at or call CDL Training Manager Jim Rosen at 419.238.5411 ext. 2007.