UNION — A North Carolina-based firm that supplies trained drivers to more than 300 companies nationwide plans to open a training center in Union by the end of June.
Gator Hudson, the Union area representative for Alliance Tractor-Trailer Training Centers, announced that the Alliance training center in Union will be located next to the old Winn-Dixie building in the West Towne Plaza. Hudson said the center will offer classes for full-time students Monday-Friday from 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Weekday classes will begin when the center opens later this month, but Hudson said that shortly after that, Alliance plans to add weekend classes for part-time students. Hudson said that the classes for part-time students will be held Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Hudson said the training courses will include a combination of classroom and field instruction and training on the road. Whether in the classroom or in the field or driving, Hudson said classes will last 10 hours a day. He said that for the duration of each course there will be 50 hours of classroom time, 75 hours in the field, and 75 hours on the road.
“Basically, students will come in with a regular driver’s license,” Hudson said. “Then, after at least four weeks of training including a week of classroom instruction and three weeks driving, you’ll leave with a Class A CDL (Commercial Driver’s License).”
Hudson said that Alliance has been training truck drivers for the past 34 years and during that time has trained more than 85,000 drivers. He said that today, Alliance supplies truck drivers to more than 300 companies throughout the county, some of which are local lines needing drivers for runs to and from locations in and around the Upstate and surrounding regions, trips that usually can be done in a day. Others, however, need drivers for trips that can take as much as two or three weeks.
Whether they drive local lines that have them back home every night, or are on the road for weeks at a time, Hudson said the drivers trained and supplied by Alliance can and do earn a good living. He said that those who drive the local lines can earn up to $30,000-40,000 a year while those who drive the longer hauls can earn up to $40,000-50,000 a year.
Hudson added that there is a strong demand for drivers, a demand that’s expected to persist well into the next decade.
“The need is so critical for truck drivers,” Hudson said. “There will be a need for 250,000 to 500,000 drivers a year for at the next 10 years.”
Hudson said that persons interested in taking the Alliance training courses must have a valid Driver’s License. While it is not required, Hudson said it is preferred that Alliance trainees have a high school diploma or GED.
Persons interested in enrolling in the Alliance Tractor-Trailer Centers program in Union may come to the school when it opens or if they want to get signed up for the first class in advance, call Gator Hudson at 864-762-6301.
Tracy O’Neil, National Director for Alliance Tractor-Trailer Training Centers, stated Monday that “We are excited to be opening a training facility in Union. We also want to invest into the Union community, and by providing jobs create a sustainable long-term relationship in Union.”
Alliance Tractor-Trailer Training Center was established in October 1981, beginning training operations in Arden, North Carolina. The company then opened its second training center in Wytheville, Virginia. Earlier this year, Alliance partnered with Blue Ridge Community College, Flat Rock, NC, and Tri-County Community College in Murphy, NC, to offer training at those locations.
For more information about Alliance Tractor-Trailer Training Centers go online at www.alliancetractortrailer.com or call 828-684-4454.