‘Industry needs you’ – truck driver training graduation sends 10 new drivers into workforce

In partnership with Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute, Southeastern Community College conferred 10 truck driver training graduates with certificates of completion of the 9.5-week program on March 7 in the SCC auditorium. Dr. Mike Ammons, SCC associate dean of technical training, said this third graduating class had a 100% pass rate with all 10 students passing the final exam. 

“I was the lead instructor for these guys, but there wasn’t much leading for these guys,” said CCCTI truck driver lead instructor Johnny Hollar. “These guys were all great from the start. Y’all have something in your pockets that you didn’t have nine weeks ago, and it will open a ton of doors for you.” 

With 25 years of trucking experience, Hollar told the audience to support the graduates in everything because of the lifestyle change in their coming career. He told the graduating class that it was an honor serving as lead instructor for a class with high skill levels on the road.  

Sammie Jacobs, co-owner and co-founder of Sammie Jacobs Dispatch, was the guest speaker for the ceremony. Jacobs is Native American and part of the Waccamaw-Siouan tribe.  

“First off, I’d like to say you guys are special, and I mean you’re special,” Jacobs said. “You are joining a group that is admired throughout the U.S. because you’re going to be the backbone of the economy and lifeblood of the continental United States.” 

Jacobs commended the graduating class for entering a career that will “forever be in demand.” He said that when manufacturers produce something, it is up to the truck drivers to act as the middleman to deliver to the consumers.  

“You’re going to be in demand,” Jacobs said. “Just keep your nose clean and keep things going right because you’re going to have a job. Industry needs you.” 

The graduating class consisted of Tony Addison, Jonathan Brown, Joshua Chenier, Joseph Graham, Jr., Demetrius Gray, Luis Hernandez, Konyay McDougal, Cameron Pridgen, Jewel Sartin, Jr. and Devin Solomon. Chenier was recognized for having perfect attendance. Graduates had the opportunity to stand and express their gratitude for taking the class.  

Other CCCTI truck driver instructors included Roger Chester, Tommy Pritchard and Gary Tippins, Jr.  

NCWorks Career Center Executive Director Ruth High said that three graduates received WIOA funding to cover the cost of the truck driver training class.  

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