Semi, tanker donated to Shawnee College
The truck-driving program at Shawnee Community College will now be able to offer even more opportunities to students seeking a career in over-the-road trucking thanks to a donation by a Kentucky trucking company.
SCC has expanded its fleet of training vehicles with the addition of a Freightliner commercial semi truck and liquid tanker, courtesy of Schwerman Trucking.
The new truck features an automatic transmission, which will not only give students a more complete training experience, but will also allow some students the opportunity to earn their commercial drivers license who otherwise might not be able to.
In particular, disabled drivers or other drivers with limitations that could make driving a manual transmission difficult.
On Wednesday, Dec. 18, Tim Hodges from Schwerman Trucking in Calvert City, Ky., presented Shawnee Community College interim president Dr. Kathleen Curphy with the keys to the donated vehicle.
“It’s going to allow for more opportunities for our students, especially those with disabilities, or people who want to get into truck driving and are a little hesitant about the shifts that have multiple gears” said Dr. Curphy.
“This truck will allow them to get on the road and start driving once they go through our program. It’s a great opportunity for Shawnee and for our students. “
It was Shawnee Community College truck driving coordinator Kelly Jennings who saw the need for more options for students seeking a CDL, particularly disabled veterans.
“We’ve had students in the past that did have trouble with the manual shifting and wasn’t able to pass the course,” said Jennings. “Had we had the automatic then, they would have absolutely passed the course.”
For Tim Hodges of Schwerman Trucking, assisting trucking programs like the one at SCC to produce more CDL graduates helps address a larger problem in the trucking industry.
“There is a nationwide shortage of drivers. So anything we can do to improve that benefits our industry too,” said Hodges. “I don’t know the last count, but its thousands of drivers that are short. So we are interested in anything we can do to expedite that process where we can get more drivers into the seat.”
Dr. Curphy is enthusiastic about the new donation and opportunities it offers to Shawnee students.
“This is the best Christmas gift Shawnee could ever get,” said Dr. Curphy. “Christmas has come early and we are just very very excited about this. And we can’t do this without partners like Schwerman.”