Ivy Tech launches new CDL program with financial aid eligibility


EVANSVILLE, INDIANA (WEHT)– Commercial Drivers License, or CDL, classes have been offered for years at Ivy Tech. Kyla Dowell, lead employment consultant at Ivy Tech, said they noticed a need for financial aid eligibility in these courses.

“Students really needed financial aid eligibility. What we did was partner with Kenexis and Indiana Department of Transportation, really looked at what was needed. We created a program called CDL plus,” Dowell said.

It’s a semester-long program with financial eligibility. Students sign up to learn how to drive these trucks and buses. Chad Martin said it provides hands-on learning as well.

“It’s usually our first we’re in the classrooms and then we come out here on the skills pad,” Martin said.

“It helps you out once you get into the real world out there- backing in and out of docks, picking up and delivering loads, and getting around those city streets. There’s a lot more to driving a semi than people realize.” said CDL instructor, Scott Renschler.

Renschler also said there’s a huge demand for these drivers.

“Big shortage- there’s a lot of baby boomers retiring now and we need to replace all those as well as add on all the new drivers we need,” he said.

Which is something Martin told Eyewitness News attracted him to sign up for this program.

“Laid off twice in five years from coal mining. Coal’s going away so you got to find other means of making a living,” Martin said.

Dowell said this demand won’t be going away soon.

“We love to get our packages delivered to our doors now so there’s always going to be a huge demand. I don’t see this slowing down at all. In fact, I think we have capacity to increase over the next few years,” Dowell said.

(This story was originally published on February 25, 2021)

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