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SOWELA Graduates First Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Training Class to Help Meet the Trucking Industry’s Demand for Skilled Drivers

Students to be Honored at July 9th Graduation Ceremony


SOWELA’s Office of Workforce Solutions in partnership with South Louisiana Community College will graduate its first class of Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) trainees on Tuesday, July 9th, at 11 a.m. in the Sycamore Student Center Auditorium at the Lake Charles campus. The event marks the completion of a seven-week, 245-hour program that prepares individuals to take the final skills test necessary to receive a state commercial driver’s license.

David Hayes, Workforce Solutions Executive Director, said, “It is no secret that CDL drivers are in high demand all across the country. That’s also true for local and regional employers who have a need for drivers right here in Southwest Louisiana. Those needs vary from company to company, but at the end of the day, they need trained drivers with a strong work ethic and a desire to launch a career as a professional driver. SOWELA’s CDL training program serves the needs of employers with professionally trained graduates, and it serves the community’s needs with graduates who are connected to employers.”

The American Trucking Association (ATA) estimates a shortage of truck drivers. This is due to many barriers, such as age requirements, CDL testing standards, strict drug and alcohol testing regimens, and safe and clean driving records in addition to a growing demand for over-the-road or long-haul for-hire truck drivers.[1]

SOWELA’s CDL Class A or B license training program is a comprehensive, behind-the-wheel program established to meet the demand for skilled and licensed truck drivers. The training covers the Department of Transportation rules and regulations, pre-trip inspection, backing pad skills, and on-the-road skills. Completers who obtain their state license are qualified to drive tractor-trailers, dump trucks, tow trucks, delivery trucks, tanker trucks and flatbed trucks.

Applications are currently being accepted for the next CDL Training Class. For more information, visit www.sowela.edu/cdl or call the Office of Workforce Solutions at (337) 421-6560.

[1]“ATA Statement on Flaws in Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Driver Shortage Article.” American Trucking Association. (March 20, 2019) Retrieved from https://www.trucking.org/article/ATA%20Statement-on-Flaws-in-Bureau-of-Labor-Statistics’-Driver-Shortage-Article * (link no longer active)


SOWELA Technical Community College provides traditional, distance, and lifelong learning experiences and awards associate degrees, technical diplomas, and certificates. The College empowers learners in career and technical education and enables transfer students to pursue a four-year degree so all learners excel as globally competitive citizens. The College has been educating the region’s workforce for 80 years and has locations in Jennings, Lake Charles and Oakdale, LA.