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You hear it constantly on the news: there’s a shortage of workers virtually everywhere and one of the hardest hit professions is the lack of truck drivers to get products from the ports or distribution centers and finally on to the stores.

But the Technical College System of Georgia has a program that, within a short period of time, can have truck drivers on the road and delivering products and a leader in the soft drink industry has now stepped up to help because the shortage of drivers affects them as well.

Larry Calhoun, President of Southeastern Technical College said Coca-Cola had committed $1 million to technical colleges who have truck driving courses on their curriculum.

“The money will be divided among the colleges, and will pay for instructors,” Calhoun said. “We face two problems in the truck driving courses. One is the lack of funds and the other is finding and keep qualified instructors.”

Calhoun said the truck driving course at STC lasts for seven-and-a-half weeks, and once successfully completed, the student will have earned a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and be work ready. Not only that, but the local college also has a 100 percent job placement record in finding jobs for those students after the program.

“Coca-Cola is giving the money, but that doesn’t mean it’s just for drivers to work for that company,” Calhoun said. “The company realizes what a shortage of drivers there is and just want to help. There are a lot of opportunities locally and nationally for someone interested in driving a truck.”

Next Tuesday, May 17, from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., the Coca-Cola Company will be on the campus of STC in Vidalia to make the presentation of the funds it has committed to the local college, and you’re invited to come and see if driving a truck is a profession in which you’d be interested.  Coca-Cola and STC will have their trucks on display and there will be information on the truck driving program at STC as well as entertainment and of course, free Coca-Cola products for sampling.

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