HomeGCCCColleges agree to partner on CDL program

Colleges agree to partner on CDL program

SCCC President Brad Bennett (left) and GCCC President Ryan Ruda sign the MOU that will bring Seward’s CDL program to the Garden City area.

Seward County Community College and Garden City Community College have approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to partner on a Commercial Drivers License/Truck Driving certification program in Garden City.

The program will be administered by SCCC with students taking classes at the GCCC campus. The need for more truck drivers nationwide, especially in southwest Kansas, led to this
collaborative effort.

GCCC President Ryan Ruda and SCCC President Brad Bennett agreed the partnership is beneficial to everyone involved, allowing Seward County to grow its program while providing Garden City with a much-needed service.

“Dr. Ruda and I are good friends and we partner on a lot of projects together,” Bennett said.
“They have a high demand for CDLs in that area and don’t have any interest in having a
program themselves because of the start-up costs. A lot of presidents in Kansas believe if schools
do things well, let’s leverage those schools and that was our thought process.”

Ruda said the conversation about the program has been ongoing.

“We’ve heard from our industry partners there’s a need for CDL training. It was most important for us to figure out a solution for how we can partner and address that need. We weren’t in a position to bring in a new program,” Ruda said.
The new agreement will enable students living and working in Garden City and the surrounding
service area to remain in their geographic location and take CDL instruction through SCCC on
the GCCC campus.

The hands-on training courses will be six weeks in duration and offered throughout the calendar year. The first class in Garden City will begin September 5.

Bennett and Ruda praised the partnership and believe more of these collaborative efforts to
benefit and maximize the community are needed.

“We’re excited to help out a partner school,” said Bennett. “It’s really cool when you think about it. We are using our resources to the fullest extent and using state and taxpayer dollars in the best manner that we can. It’s a great partnership.”

Calling it a true partnership, Ruda said this is the way education should be moving by finding new partnerships to address the needs within different communities.

“When we have an opportunity to partner with a school that excels in an area like Seward does in truck driving, the question is why (from GCCC’s perspective) should we start from scratch when we can utilize those services,” said Ruda.

Within the CDL program, students learn vehicle equipment control, setup and inspections, basic
maneuvering and handling, over-the-road records management, and preventive maintenance.

With opportunities for both men and women to become truck drivers, the field is one of the
fastest job markets in the country. Students who successfully graduate do so with a full CDL
Class A License.

For more information or to enroll in the CDL/Truck Driving program, contact Candice Olson at Seward County Community College at Candice.Olson@sccc.edu or 620-417-1652.