Two federal grants are making it possible for Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College to open a new transportation program and offer truck driver training to veterans at “virtually no out-of-pocket cost,” Academic Vice President Donna Elmore said.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded the college a $150,000 tuition grant to pay for training veterans to be truck drivers, she said.
“It will open this fall and will allow us to train 60 veterans and provide a half-time recruiter,” Elmore said.
The grant comes at the perfect time to go with a $2.5 million, three-year grant that the U.S. Department of Labor awarded OCtech earlier this year, according to Elmore.
“We knew we got that one back in January, but we just got the go-ahead to use it,” she said.
The DOL grant will pay for developing a transportation and logistics training curriculum, two trucks and a simulator for the classroom, Elmore said.
The grant also comes at a good time because the college is initiating a new eight-week, credit course in truck driver training, which means students can get lottery and Pell funds, she said.
Veterans “will pay virtually no out-of-pocket costs,” she said.
OCtech was one of six colleges nationwide to be awarded part of the $1 million DOT grant.
U.S. Secretary of Education Anthony Foxx reported that the grant was designed to help ensure that “the men and women who put their lives on the line for our country ... can find good jobs when they leave the service.”
Veterans interested in taking the course should call 803-535-1224, Elmore said.