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    LSCPA offers one-stop CDL training, testing

    LSCPA
    LSCPA's trucking school is the only place between the Louisiana state line and Houston where student drivers can learn and test to become state and federally licensed drivers.

    Supply chains stretched thin during the Covid-19 outbreak reinforce the importance of truck drivers to Americans’ health and well-being.

    The truck driving school at Lamar State College Port Arthur has become even a bigger link in that chain, thanks to a recent move by the federal government.

    “We are now fully a one-stop shop for truck driving students,” Dr. Ben Stafford, LSCPA’s Dean of Workforce Programs, said of his school’s Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) program. “And we’re the only ones in our area who can do this.”

    LSCPA is now the only Texas site between the Louisiana state line and Houston where student drivers can receive classroom and on-the-road instruction, plus both the “knowledge” and “skills” testing needed to become state and federally licensed truck drivers.

    The school previously offered three of those four components, but the written “knowledge” tests, required for truck driving students to obtain a “learner’s permit,” had to be taken at a Texas Department of Safety (DPS) Driver’s License Office.

    Until recently. The state shut down local driver’s license offices in order to stop the community spread of Covid-19. On April 9, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration granted LSCPA authority to administer the CDL knowledge testing.

    The truck driving program at LSCPA has remained open despite the closing of most state instructional programs in March. This is because the classes are small in size (fewer than 10) and essential, Stafford said.

    “Truck driving is a governmentally declared essential occupation, to keep the supply chain open under the pandemic,” the dean said.

    “We have small classes and we are careful to socially distance. The cleaning crews follow all guidelines for sterilization and cleanliness of the classroom, and our instructors clean the trucks after every class.”

    LSCPA offers two- and three-month CDL programs, depending on certifications sought. Classes are taught from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

    Tuition assistance may be available through Texas Workforce or through the Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation. Call the College at 409-984-6230 or visit the school website at lamarpa.edu/ce for more information.