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Donation provides 25 truck driving scholarships

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Dec 16, 2021

More than $100,000 donated to College of Lake County (CLC) by an anonymous donor will create 25 scholarships for students to enroll in truck driving courses to earn their commercial driver’s license. The program takes about two months to complete and usually costs students $4,100.

Photo of a truck driver“These scholarships can help people earn a family sustaining wage without a formal education in a short period of time," said Manager of Professional Development Laura Asbury.

Truck drivers have become one of the more in-demand jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a national need for people to take on the role. According to data from Emsi, in Lake, McHenry and Kenosha Counties, there were more than 32,000 unique job postings between Nov. 2020 and Oct. 2021. The number of truck driving jobs in the area is projected to increase seven percent by 2025.

The available jobs aren’t only for drivers who are on the road for extended periods of time, Asbury said. Opportunities are available that allow drivers to come home every night, so there are options to fit anyone's ideal career.

“With the ongoing pandemic, this is an incredible and generous opportunity from a donor to get people who may be unemployed or underemployed into a career in just a few months," she said.

While the program is through CLC, students take driving courses in Park City at Kotra Driving School after completing online coursework and receiving their commercial learner’s permit.

The program has flexibility, and students typically take between eight and 12 weeks to complete it. For the scholarship, students would be required to attend class at least 10 hours a week. Kotra has drop-in hours, so students can take the driving courses when they fit into their schedules.

To be eligible for the scholarships, students must first attend a virtual info session, with dates beginning in January. Other requirements include being at least 21 years old, a US citizen or legal permanent resident and a resident of Lake County with a valid Illinois driver’s license class D or above.

Scholarship students can start classes as early as February. To begin the scholarship process and sign up for an info session, click here.

About College of Lake County

College of Lake County is a comprehensive community college committed to equitable high-quality education, cultural enrichment and partnerships to advance the diverse communities it serves in northeastern Illinois. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, college classes are affordable and accessible to help each student achieve academic, career and personal goals. More than 70,000 students graduated with degrees and certificates since the college opened in 1969. College of Lake County is the only higher-education institution ranked among the top 15 best places to work in Illinois by Forbes and is a national leader in many areas, including sustainability and conservation.