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Free CDL training program for veterans in Grundy County

Published: Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

MORRIS – Grundy Workforce Services of Joliet Junior College is offering a free CDL training opportunity for military veterans who live in Grundy County.

The CDL training program is designed for people with little or no commercial driving experience. Training includes the cost of tuition, drug-screening/physical exam and a commercial driver’s license learner’s permit, according to a news release. Upon successful completion of the program, participants will receive a certificate of completion, as well as prepare themselves to take the Illinois Class A road test. In addition, many trucking companies offer students pre-hire letters of employment so job opportunities are available when their training is completed.

All of the instructors in the CDL training program are military veterans, which helps make a connection between teacher and student. Instructor Ron Swearingen, a U.S. Navy veteran, has 25 years of driving experience and enjoys mentoring students.

“As a military veteran, I really feel that I can make a connection to the students,” he said in the release. “Students feel at ease because they know I have experience and they can rely on me to guide them.”

Full-time, day classes begin every three weeks. Evening classes are also available. Limited scholarships for the CDL training program are available.

For more information, call the Grundy Workforce Services Office at 815-280-6823.

John Giunta, a U.S. Marine Corp veteran from Palos Heights, Ill., recently participated in the CDL Training Program and had very positive feedback.

“The instructors were absolutely fantastic. They were really personable as well as knowledgeable in their field,” Giunta said in the release.

Shortly after completing the training program and earning his CDL license, he was hired by a local trucking company.

“Not only is the CDL training program an excellent opportunity for veterans to acquire a new set of skills at no cost to them, but each veteran accepted into the program will receive paid on-the-job training at a transportation company immediately following their training,” Superintendent Ken Buck of the Grundy County Veterans Assistance Commission, said in the release.

Funding for the CDL training program is provided by a $217,803 grant from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) as part of the Dislocated Worker Training National Emergency Grant for WIA eligible dislocated workers to serve individuals in Grundy, Livingston and Kankakee Counties. Priority will be given to military veterans. The long-term unemployed (minimum of 27 weeks) and individuals who are likely to exhaust their unemployment insurance benefits are also eligible to participate.

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