The Berks Career & Technology Center is planning to buy land in Bern Township, PA, that would allow it to start its own truck driver training program, according to a report in the Reading Eagle.
Dr. Robert E. Lees, BCTC executive director, said BCTC has been running a satellite trucking program at its West Campus in Bern Township, utilizing the licensed program of the Lehigh Career & Technical Institute in Schnecksville.
Currently students can complete their classroom work in Berks County, but they have to travel to Lehigh County for behind-the-wheel instruction. ”It's a terrible inconvenience," Lees said.
Lee said the school is under contract to buy a site along Route 183 that would be converted into a driving course for the CDL program. The school would utilize tractor-trailers it already owns. The purchase of the property is contingent on several factors, including the school's ability to receive approval to administer tests for commercial driver's licenses.
The BCTC has been averaging 50 to 60 students for the CDL course, which is part of the school's continuing education program. Lees said with the new training center, he hopes the number of students will rise significantly.
"There is a tremendous need in our community for people with CDL licenses," he said, pointing to the frequent advertisements for companies seeking drivers.
Lees hopes to have the new CDL program up and running by the end of summer or early fall. The program still must receive final approval from the state Department of Transportation, and Bern Township must approve the development plan.