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      Trucking program looks to help fill local jobs

      T he trucking industry is one of the fastest growing professions around the country.

      T he demand for drivers is going up , but the number of qualified applicants are not.

      To combat this problem, N orth Central Michigan College is teaming up with the International Trucking School to offer a new 15 week program.

      " As the baby boom generation retires there is a need for others to step in and take those places," Christine Hammond, NCMC Dean of Instruction and Student Success said.

      N ationwide , there are hundreds of thousands of truck driving jobs available and many of them are right here in northern Michigan.

      " We believe there are jobs in the immediate area and we've been approached by a number of people, employers and students seeking jobs and employment," Pete Olson, NCMC Associate Dean of Health and Business Technology said.

      NCMC 's new truck driving certificate program is designed to help students get their commercial drivers li c ense.

      " It's true that anyone can take the test , but we want our students to be well prepared and to be successful ," Hammond explained.

      T hat recipe for success comes in five weeks worth of classes and a ten week internship program. The internship allows students to work for a trucking company and gives them hands on experience.

      " It offers them the opportunity to make their mistakes in a very controlled environment with very dedicated supervision over a long period of time duplicating actual road conditions," Olson said.

      T he college is currently recruiting students for the program that will be held at it's Gaylord campus.