EICC expands commercial truck driver program to Muscatine

CDL Muscatine campus
Eastern Iowa Community College leaders (EICC) cut the ribbon Thursday, May 23, to celebrate expanding its CDL program to Muscatine Community College. CREDIT EICC

MUSCATINE, Iowa – With a new Great Dane semi-trailer emblazoned with its logos serving as a backdrop, Eastern Iowa Community Colleges (EICC) leaders celebrated expansion of its Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Program to the Muscatine Community College (MCC) campus. 

A new Great Dane truck advertises the new Muscatine Community College CDL program. CREDIT EICC

The Thursday, May 23, ribbon cutting marked a significant milestone for both the college and the community, EICC said in a news release. 

A crowd of about 40 guests, including EICC faculty and staff, local legislators, Greater Muscatine Chamber members and the public, gathered on the new training range. It was approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT). 

The range, along with four new tractor-trailer combinations and the expansion of the truck driving program, was made possible by a $797,000 grant last year from Iowa Workforce Development and an additional $500,000 investment from EICC, the release said. 

Program fosters growth

The chamber’s Membership & Community Development Coordinator Lindsey Trumbull kicked off the ceremony. She highlighted the importance of such initiatives in fostering community development and economic growth. 

“The vision of Eastern Iowa Community Colleges is to change lives and build communities,” MCC President Naomi DeWinter added. “What we are celebrating today is another addition to the Muscatine community that does just that, through access to a short-term training program in a high-demand field.”

By expanding the CDL program to the Muscatine campus, EICC said the district is set to meet the rising demand for CDL-trained professionals. The DOT-approved training range will be operational this summer. Classes will begin Saturday, June 1. 

Offers hands-on experience

Through the program, students will gain hands-on experience behind the wheel of tractor-trailers equipped with modern Electronic Logging Devices. 

David Riggan, of TanTara Transportation, said the program can bolster the local workforce and support regional businesses. “In 2020, our industry was thrust into the spotlight, highlighting the crucial role of truck drivers,” he said. “This recognition allowed us to increase our rates and, in turn, raise wages. At TanTara, most of our truck drivers now earn between $80,000 and $115,000.”

Tom Monroe is manager of the college’s CDL-Truck Driving Program. He stressed the program’s commitment to safety and student success. “The CDL program at EICC has come a long way in its 50 years. We have a mission in training our drivers. We won’t put anyone out on the road unless we can go home and sleep at night, believing that they are going to be safe out there.”

EICC offers comprehensive CDL training programs. They prepare students for the CDL A test in just seven weeks. The curriculum includes online learning, in-person classes, and over-the-road instruction, ensuring graduates are well-prepared for their careers. For more information, visit eicc.edu/truckdriving

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