KILGORE, Texas (KLTV) - Kilgore College has offered CDL classes since 2019. On Monday, the college broke ground on a new training facility to expand the program.
D’Wayne Shaw, the executive dean of professional and career education at the college, said this facility will have a training track, classroom and warehouse to train and test for CDL license and forklift certification.
“We will have the ability to train them on maneuvers. They have an opportunity to drive around the track and not be out on the highway as they are training and practicing with those vehicles,” Shaw said.
Shaw said there is a testing center in Kilgore, but the next closest places are Canton, Paris and Livingston.
“Sometimes the wait because there are so few testing locations across the state could be four to six weeks from the time they complete their training, but with us they will be able to complete their training and immediately test,” Shaw said.
The Kilgore Economic Development Corporation partnered with the college to secure the land the facility will be on. Lisa Denton, the executive director of KEDC, said it’s important to the region and state to have this.
“For Kilgore College to have this offering as well as forklift training -- the students that can come here throughout the region and get those trainings and be able to get jobs here throughout our region and throughout the state should bring a lot of economic activity in our area,” Denton said.
Because of the shortage of available bus and truck drivers, David Waters with Cudd Energy Services said they have partnered with the school and hope this will bridge the gap.
“Through Kilgore College, we’ve put through seven drivers since the month of May; we’ve had a downturn, so we haven’t gotten to send anybody. I’ve got districts in West Texas, and after the first of the year, we will be bringing drivers or employees from West Texas to East Texas to enroll in school here,” Waters said.
The track itself will cost a little over $2,000,000 to construct. The classroom and warehouse prices are unknown at this time due to still being in the planning process.
The facility is expected to be complete in March of 2025.
Link to groundbreaking video: https://www.kltv.com/2023/10/23/kilgore-college-breaks-ground-new-cdl-training-center/
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