South Texas College and Trancasa roll out new CDL Program in Starr County
South Texas College, in partnership with international ground transportation leader Trancasa, has brought a new commercial driver’s license program to Starr County that will address a growing demand for drivers in the industry.
South Texas College expanded its partnership with international ground transportation leader Trancasa bringing a new commercial driver’s license program to Starr County that will address a growing demand for drivers in the industry.
“When I first arrived here, we set our objectives to be able to transform the college and provide the best opportunity for our students, not only in the area of health, but especially in the opportunities that commerce and globalization offers and this is why we're excited to provide this opportunity, especially in this commercial area where trucking can meet an incredible range of demands,” said South Texas College president Dr. Ricardo J. Solis, who brokered the partnership with Trancasa. “When I started, the first thing that was emphasized on me was to make sure that Starr County would be able to grow and succeed, especially in the area of commerce and international trade.”
US Congressman Henry Cuellar, Starr County Judge Eloy Vera, Rio Grande City Mayor Joel Villarreal, and Starr-Camargo Bridge Company President Sam Vale joined the STC president Tuesday at a press conference and ribbon-cutting announcing the new CDL program expansion.
STC trustees in attendance included Chair Rose Benavidez and Paul R. Rodriguez
“We have three ports of entry, and so we very much recognize the importance of international commerce to our economy,” said Benavidez, who is president of Starr County Industrial Foundation. “So knowing that we can build those jobs that directly and indirectly help many of our local businesses and our local suppliers and vendors is absolutely priceless.”
Curriculum will meet the new Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
“We have three ports of entry, and so we very much recognize the importance of international commerce to our economy. So knowing that we can build those jobs that directly and indirectly help many of our local businesses and our local suppliers and vendors is absolutely priceless.”
The course will consist of 200 total hours of instruction delivered over five weeks; 40 hours of classroom and computer lab instruction, as well as 160 hours of observation and driving on a training range and public roads.
“There are certain areas in which we have to do a lot better,” said Congressman Cuellar. “This is where South Texas College is coming in. What (president) Ricardo Solis and the Board of Trustees has done is that they have been able to recognize the urgent need for truck drivers, one that was to facilitate the process for obtaining the CDL driver license. It’s not easy, but it is a process, a program that will help the young folks get that (experience). And it's going to be something under the leadership of South Texas College.”
Trancasa operates a fleet of 700 Trucks, 450 in Mexico and 250 in the United States. Each truck is equipped with anti-collision technology and cameras to facilitate training, 24/7 security, and maintenance support. A growing and diversified customer base on both sides of the border is supported by the company’s 1,250 employees.
Working with Trancasa, STC was able to develop a trucking program unveiled at a grand opening in Dec. 2021.
So far, the CDL program based at STC’s Technology Campus has graduated 14 students. Students can start enrolling now for the Starr County program, which is slated to begin Fall 2022.
Trucking is a $791.7 billion industry that hauls 72.5 percent of all freight transported in the United States and employs about 6 percent of all full-time workers. An aging workforce however, combined with recent surges in labor shortages, has created a vacuum of around 80,000 truck drivers.
STC President Solis says the college recognizes how vital the industry is for the economy, and explained how expediting the training of drivers was included in the new CDL course by design.
“We know there is an urgent need for truck drivers, and we are planning a very robust program where students will be able to obtain their CDL driver’s license and get them on the road as soon as possible,” Solis said. “I refer back on my background in international trade and commerce to be able to bring all of my experience in those fields together to work here for the Valley, and to make STC a true center for workforce and economic development.”
For more information about the CDL course, please visit southtexascollege.edu/cdl.