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Instructor puts CDL students on the road to a high-demand career

Winter 2012 | Archives

Instructor puts CDL students on the road to a high-demand career

Darryl Partner
Darryl Partner

Vital Stats
Academic program: CDL Class A Truck Driver Training

Before MCC: Before joining MCC in 2011, Partner traveled all over the United States as an over-the-road truck driver.

What he likes about teaching: “I know for a fact that what I do in the classroom is going to help put a paycheck in someone’s pocket.”

Learning how to drive a truck is not easy. It takes coordination. Feet, hands, ears, eyes: Driving a big rig challenges all of the senses. “It’s not like jumping in your car, putting it in drive and going,” says Darryl Partner, instructor for MCC’s CDL Class A Truck Driver Training program. “You really have to put a lot of thought into what you’re doing, all the time.”

MCC students can rely on Partner’s years of working experience to get the skills they need to be quality drivers. Partner was an over-the-road driver for nearly nine years before he decided to settle in Omaha. Now he enjoys helping students train for an in-demand career. After completing MCC’s eight-week truck driver program, students have the skills they need to be employed in a recession-resilient career. No matter the economic climate, people still need to fulfill their basic needs: “People still have to eat, put clothes on their backs and repair their houses, and it takes a truck driver to make those things happen,” Partner says. As the U.S. population grows, so will the demand for drivers to support that population.

“The trucking industry is always looking for good drivers,” he says. “Once you get your CDL and maintain your experience, you’ll always have a job.” Another perk: Drivers get to see the country. “You’re like a paid vagabond. You’re traveling all over the country, seeing sunrises and sunsets, meeting different people and discovering out-of-the-way places,” Partner says.

MCC is responding to the industry demand for truck drivers through a federal grant to offset tuition for unemployed and underemployed students through 2014. While driving a large rig may seem intimidating to some, Partner says it is an accessible career for both men and women. Students who do not have manual driving experience may actually do better than students who have experience driving manual-shift cars or trucks; they do not have any bad habits to break. And even though student drivers are seven feet off the ground with a 53-foot trailer behind them, MCC road trainers are by students’ side through the entire process.

For Partner, the best part of working at MCC is supporting students. “I like coming here and knowing that when these students leave, they can—and will—be successful.”

About the CDL program
Check the following for weather-related announcements and closing information:
• Program is eight weeks with daytime classes.
• Students log 35 driving hours and 21 backing-up hours
plus 230 hours in the classroom and lab.
• Spring 2013 program starts March 8.

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