Butler Tech expands trucking classes to meet growing jobs needs

Butler Tech’s popular commercial trucking program is expanding to Clermont County as part of a recently announced expansion of its truck driving training program.

The Butler County-based career school system is partnering with Grant Career Center and the Southern Hills Career and Technical Center at their Batavia campus in Clermont County.

“Butler Tech has been providing training for commercial driver’s licenses for eight years and now, through this partnership, we are able to spread the impact by providing the curriculum, the trucks and even our instructors to help other career tech centers in need,” said A.J. Huff, spokeswoman for Butler Tech.

“This is a partnership using our curriculum, trucks and instructors. Enrollment, testing, reporting, etc. goes through the other two career centers.”

Grant and Southern Hills career centers are among the smaller such school systems in southwest Ohio while Butler Tech is one of the state’s largest career school districts.

Heavy truck and tractor-trailer truck drivers transport goods from one location to another. They must have a high school diploma and have completed professional truck driving classes to earn a commercial driving license (CDL) permit.

According to the most recent information available from the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, there are 73,200 commercial trucking jobs in the state. Butler Tech officials said there are 8,600 CDL driver jobs available in Ohio alone.

Nationwide, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, drivers earn an annual median income of $43,680.

Department of Labor officials project employment of heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers will grow 5 percent through 2028, “as the demand for goods increases, more truck drivers will be needed to keep supply chains moving.”

Nick Linberg, executive director of strategic programming for Butler Tech, said the new partnership is “an example of new ways we are reaching more students and ultimately impacting students and communities across Ohio.”

The new partnership is the first multi-county agreement for the CDL program, which operates out of Butler Tech’s Liberty Twp. campus, in four years.

In 2016, Butler Tech’s CDL program made its first expansion outside of Butler County into Montgomery County.

Butler Tech began the CDL classes in 2012.

Much of Southwest Ohio, including Clermont County, is attractive logistically for manufacturers and other industries who use ground transportation shipping as this region is within a day’s drive of 60 percent of America’s population.

Butler Tech’s CDL training can be completed in five weeks for a Class A license (200 clock hours) or three weeks for a Class B license (120 clock hours). Tuition includes classroom and behind-the-wheel training, required physical and drug screening, the written CDL test, the CDL road test and the CDL license fee.

Students train on current model equipment that includes day-cab and sleeper tractors, 53-foot and 45-foot trailers and box trucks.

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