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New Zeeland truck driving training school first mile marker on transportation career path

A new West Michigan truck driving training center could put students in the driver's seat for more than just a career in driving trucks -- it could be the road to future opportunities in transportation management.

The new Baker College Trucking and Logistics training school is a partnership between Baker College of Cadillac and Hudsonville-based Anthony Luurtsema Truck Lines (ALTL). An enhanced facility with over 2,000 square feet of classroom space and a truck driving range opens Thurs., March 15 at 9548 Adams St., Zeeland.

Students will receive 20 weeks of training that includes 58 hours of behind-the-wheel experience on the range and on actual runs with ALTL drivers, plus 30 hours of vehicle inspection training. The course will prepare them to sit for the Michigan Commercial Driver Licensing Class A exam, and will provide students with 30 college credit hours.

"Truck driving is an entry-level position into the transportation field because, many times, companies look at drivers to find management, dispatchers, safety specialists, logistics people -- the opportunities are huge," says Tim Baker, director of transportation for Baker College of Cadillac. Baker College has offered truck driving training at its Cadillac campus for over a decade.

"There is a shortage of about 400,000 drivers in the trucking industry right now," Baker says. "In Michigan, Schneider National, Inc. hires only [truck driving students] from Baker College. Many of the major trucking companies also waive the two-year experience rule if the driver goes through one of our schools."

Spring quarter begins April 2, 2012. The school will accept 24 students at the Zeeland facility. Classes run twice a week from 5 to 10 p.m., plus scheduled driving times with ALTL drivers. Tim Baker says the student population includes recent high school graduates as well as middle-aged workers who have been laid off or seek career changes. About eight percent of students are women.

For more information, call 616.879.0007 or click here.

Source: Tim Baker, Baker College of Cadillac
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
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