Owensboro Community & Technical College is hosting a pre-hire event Wednesday, Oct. 13, for its upcoming CDL certification training.

The event is at OCTC’s downtown campus, and it will kick off at 9:45 a.m. It is open to any employer interested in sponsoring a student for the upcoming training cohort.

In August, the Owensboro Riverport Authority partnered with OCTC to use some of its vacant space to train students seeking their commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs).

OCTC will launch its first four-week program in early November.

Cindy Fiorella, OCTC vice president of workforce and economic development, said there are also plans for another class in January.

The pre-hire event, she said, will be an opportunity for employers to meet potential employees, Fiorella said.

“What we are doing is linking them together in an event where employers can come on campus and interview individuals who are interested in becoming sponsored trainees for their company,” she said. “We are doing a little match-making here on the front end, and the employers are helping to grow their driver force.”

The program will be designed so that companies will be responsible for paying for their trainee’s portion of the costs to receive certifications. A benefit for Kentucky employers will be that some participants will be eligible for funding that has been made available from the state.

The Kentucky Community & Technical College System TRAINS fund can cover 75% of the cost to train incumbent employees, and in this instance, when a company sponsors a driver to be trained.

Companies will be responsible for 25% of the cost, plus a 10% administrative fee. Fiorella said it’s “a tremendous opportunity for savings.”

Since OCTC first announced the academy, more than 50 individuals have shown interest in participating and have been put on a waitlist to participate in upcoming information sessions.

The CDL Driving Academy will have a heavy emphasis on sponsorships, apprenticeships and post-training employer placement. That means students can spend time in classrooms being trained while also learning on the job. Once students complete the program, they can then be paired with a participating sponsoring company.

The apprenticeship model has proven to be successful not just within the Kentucky Community & Technical College System, but nationwide, Fiorella said.

When a student knows they have a job waiting for them upon completion of their training, they tend to perform better, she said.

“The benefit to the student is that it is a customized training program,” she said. “They aren’t in expensive courses. Having that employer sponsor is a tremendous benefit, especially to individuals with young families.”

She also said many employers have reached out to the school to indicate they have current employees who need to “scale up” their training, so OCTC is also assisting them in that process.

“This is going to be a payoff for both the company partners and our individuals here looking for good jobs,” she said.

For more information on the pre-hire event, contact katie.vincent@kctcs.edu or call 270-686-4423. Students interested in OCTC’s CDL Driving Academy should contact Amee Payne at 270-686-3786 or amee.payne@kctcs.edu.

Bobbie Hayse, bhayse@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7315

Bobbie Hayse, bhayse@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7315

Bobbie Hayse, bhayse@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7315

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