Batesville college gets $950K to upgrade CDL program for future truckers

Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 7:43 PM CDT
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BATESVILLE, Ark. (KAIT) - A Northeast Arkansas college is helping put more people into the workforce, all thanks to a federal grant.

The University of Arkansas Community College in Batesville received a $950,000 grant, with $200,000 going toward a new practice semi-truck for Commercial Driver’s License students.

According to, there are roughly 80,000 current trucking jobs open, with that number expected to skyrocket over the next three to five years.

“The need for CDL drivers in this country is greater than ever and it’s one of the fastest growing occupations,” said Dr. Zach Harber, the Director of Workforce Development for the UACCB.

New laws and regulations are forcing people to take formal classes before receiving a class-A CDL.

“With the new federal legislation that has come out and the requirements to have to go through a training program,” he said. “There is no way around it.”

You must be 18 years old to get a CDL and begin driving in Arkansas. Regulations state you cannot cross state lines with a semi-truck until you are 21.

Harber said with a trucking shortage you can make good money, adding if you’re in high school and want to pursue trucking as a career, start looking into programs early.

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