OGLESBY – The Illinois Valley Community College Truck Driver Training program has reached a new milestone. Alec Sramek of Streator passed his driving test with the Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles and became the 2,000th graduate of the program. He is already working for U.S. Foods and will now be driving for them. IVCC’s program was created in 2000 and was led for its first two decades by Bruce Hartman. In the late 2000s, a standalone building was constructed for the program on east campus. The 160-hour program combines classroom work and hands-on experience leading to a class A commercial driver’s license. Four-week day and six-week evening sections are offered. Along with behind-the-wheel training, students learn map-reading, backing, shifting and maneuvering skills – competencies for entry-level employment. The program has a 99 percent job placement rate.
Participants must be at least 18; average student age is about 40. Veterans have taken advantage of the IVG (Illinois Veterans Grant) that pays for all but $237 of the program’s roughly $4,000 in costs. This fall, Illinois’ MAP grant is being expanded to cover short-term career and technical certificate programs such as Truck Driver Training. “This change will be a tremendous benefit for our students,” said IVCC Financial Aid Director Eric Johnson.