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Earn your CDL with a tuition-free scholarship at CLC

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Oct 31, 2022

Full tuition scholarships are once again available for students looking to earn their commercial driver's license (CDL) and start their career as a truck driver. An anonymous donor gave the college $250,000 toward the effort after giving more than $100,000 a year ago.

Truck driver in her truckTruck drivers have become one of the more in-demand jobs because of supply chain challenges, with a national need for people to take on the role. According to Lightcast, there were 5,800 unique job postings in Lake County during quarter three of 2022, with a projected growth of 6 percent. The average annual salary for a truck driver in Lake County is $57,000.

“We are overjoyed to have the opportunity to locate and assist as many as 50 Lake County residents in obtaining their CDL,” said Manager of Professional Development Laura Asbury. “Successfully attaining a CDL can be a life-changing career move. The training offered by our partner, Kotra Driving School, allows students to learn both automatic and manual transmissions which can open even more doors to employment.”

CLC’s Workforce and Professional Development Institute plans to award a minimum of 45 full-tuition scholarships with the funds.

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 are required to attend class at least 10 hours a week. Kotra has drop-in hours that allow students to take the driving courses when they fit their schedules.

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

“If you’re thinking about going for your CDL to upskill or change your career, make time and do it,” said scholarship recipient Alyssa Siegfried. “It’s a wonderful experience and your field of employability opens a lot more.”

To register for an information session, visit bit.ly/3VUINJD or contact Laura Asbury at lasbury1@clcillinois.edu 

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 in 2019 and is a national leader in many areas, including campus internationalization, sustainability and conservation.