Regional School Unit (RSU) 38 and Bangor Adult Education Programs are offering commercial driver license (CDL) classes this September, November, and January free of charge for eligible students. The project aims to help fill a critical workforce need across Maine for school bus drivers. While there are 10 free spots available per month, September is almost full and they are actively recruiting for November 2021 and January 2022.
The project was initiated by Bangor Adult Education director Greg Leavitt and grew into a partnership with RSU 38 Adult Education Program Director Steve Vose. They are able to offer the free classes using funds from a workforce innovation grant through the Maine Department of Education’s Adult Education Team.
“This is an ‘innovative’ workforce grant so let’s innovate,” said Vose who has spent a lot of time over the past couple months recruiting, getting participants ready to start the class this month, while also planning and recruiting for November and January, and adapting the program to be responsive to the needs of prospective participants. He is setting up reading tutors, if needed, to help students have success both during and after course completion. They are also exploring ways to pay students a working wage while they take the class – this would enable students to sign on without worrying about taking a month off work.
“If we continue to do the same old things, we are going to continue to get the same old results,” added Vose.
The CDL (Class B) class prepares students to meet the Maine BMV Class B school bus driving requirements and consists of 42 hours of classroom instruction to prepare students for the state written and skills exam and 30 hours of driving instruction to prepare students for the state road test.
The classes will take place at 75 North Road in Readfield, with driving time arranged individually with students. Tentative November class dates are, Nov. 4 – Dec. 18 on Thursdays from 6:00pm – 9:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am – 2:30pm. January dates are yet to be determined.
For more information or if students are interested, contact Steve Vose at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 207-242-8795.
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