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Business Observer Monday, Sep. 12, 2022 2 months ago

Truck driving school expands footprint with new location in Venice

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FleetForce, based in Winter Haven, now has four locations, with a fifth set to open soon in Fort Myers.

FleetForce Truck Driving School has expanded to Venice, opening its fourth location to help satisfy the huge nationwide demand for truck drivers.

Founded by serial entrepreneur Tra Williams, FleetForce now operates facilities in Winter Haven, its corporate headquarters, as well as in Palm City and on the Bradenton campus of State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota. A fifth location is planned for Fort Myers.

According to a news release, FleetForce, in collaboration with the Florida Trucking Association and State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, has created a pre-hire program for commercial driver license students that will waive their tuition. Trucking companies that are FTA members pay tuition costs up front, with an agreement to hire students once they complete the course and receive their CDL.

“Truck drivers continue to retire faster than the industry can replace them, which essentially guarantees our students a job once they finish the program,” states Williams, FleetForce’s president and CEO, in the release. “For many potential new drivers, however, the cost of getting their CDL keeps them from entering the industry. This program allows students to attend tuition-free and leave with a job offer in hand.”

The latest FleetForce location is on the Venice campus of State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota. Todd Fritch, the college’s executive vice president and provost, says more than 200 students have earned CDLs as the institution’s Bradenton campus.

“Workforce training and industry credentials remain a high priority for the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota,” Fritch states in the release. “The expansion to our Venice campus will double the capacity rate while also providing a training opportunity closer to home for south county residents.”

Local CDL employers who need drivers or would like to participate in the pre-hire program can contact FleetForce at DriveFleetForce.com.

“We are thrilled to see our partnership with FleetForce continue to grow,” Florida Trucking Association President and CEO Alix Miller states in the release. “The incredible response to this program shows how interested people are in such a rewarding career, if accessible. We’re proud to be at the forefront of training the next generation of professional truck drivers.”

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