Sage Truck Driving Schools and Watkins and Shepard Trucking are teaming to provide financial assistance to driver training students. The heart of this effort is a $263,000 grant from the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, which will provide students with financial aid to obtain a commercial driver’s license and work as a professional truck driver. Training usually ranges from $3,100 to $4,200.
In addition, Watkins and Shepard Trucking will provide students with access to funding for the remaining tuition cost with up to a 50 percent matching contribution; this contribution will be available to qualifying students who choose to work for Watkins and Shepard directly after graduation. Watkins and Shepard also will provide tuition reimbursement of up to 65 percent; qualifying students will be responsible for about $200 in various fees and at least a $250 down payment on tuition.
“This joint effort will make driver training available to people who otherwise might not be able to afford it,” says Curtis Weidner, director of recruiting of Missoula, Mont.-based Watkins and Shepard. “However, it is a program that requires a commitment from a student in exchange for the assistance.”