Ozarks Technical Community College instructors demonstrated for the CFO this week a new driving simulator to train truck drivers that was purchased with a successful challenge grant that raised $50,000 for this workforce development program.
The first class of 12 students will start using the Doron Truck Simulator for a five-week Class A CDL training course beginning in January, said Doug Akers, workforce specialist program manager. Interest in the course may expand to a second class if there is enough equipment available overall, he added.
The Community Foundation offered a $25,000 challenge grant to the OTC Foundation to address workforce development issues identified as one of the red flags in the 2009 Community Focus Report for Springfield-Greene County. The OTC Foundation raised its $25,000 and earmarked the money for its Transport Training Institute.
The equipment saves gasoline costs and additional wear and tear on the used trucks students use during other parts of the training program, Akers said.
“The focus of the simulator is on safety,” he said. “They (the industry) are in need of drivers, but they are very cautious about bringing people on with the initiatives from the Department of Transportation.”