Virginia groups announce driver training initiatives

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Two Virginia training initiatives have been established to produce more truck drivers and other skilled workers for the port of Hampton Roads.

  • Tidewater Community College has announced the creation of its new Maritime and Transportation Center, which will house a collection of educational programs for jobs in demand both on the waterfront and with supporting businesses. The center will encompass existing TCC programs such as computer-aided drafting, logistics management and truck driving, while adding maritime welding, shipfitting and modeling. The center – supported by several public and private sector partners, including Northrop Grumman and the Virginia Port Authority – will be housed at the college’s Portsmouth campus.
  • The Virginia Maritime Association has secured a $320,000 grant from the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission to increase the port’s driver supply. A portion of the grant money will pay for enhancing the driver training program at Southside Virginia Community College’s Blackstone campus; the improvements, such as hiring additional instructors and lighting the driver training course for evening classes, will expand the program’s capacity by 33 percent to about 190 students. The remainder of the grant will be used for marketing efforts to entice workers – particularly those along the U.S. 58 corridor – to seek jobs with trucking companies doing business with the port.