Future Truck Driver Training Program in Scotland County Result of Joint Effort
Jan. 6, 2022 - Richmond Community College will be bringing new career training opportunities to Scotland County this spring with its own truck driver training program.
The College, Scotland County Commissioners and the Southeast Regional Airport Authority (SERAA) have been working closely together for over a year to identify a place to house the program. This month, the three parties agreed upon a land transfer that would give RichmondCC property near the Laurinburg-Maxton Airport to house the truck driver program.
“Economic Developer for Scotland County Mark Ward identified a great location for us adjacent to the Laurinburg-Maxton Airport on the site of the old Maxton Meats location,” said Dr. Dale McInnis, president of RichmondCC. “It’s property that was foreclosed by the county, and we were able to negotiate with the airport authority and county administration on an agreement to do a land swap, where the county supported this property being titled to the college.”
The agreement also includes 2.8 acres of road frontage property being transferred to SERAA for future economic development. SERAA also agreed to grant ownership of 2.1 acres of land of no value to the airport to RichmondCC. This gives the College a total of 5.9 acres to house the truck driver training program.
“The Southeast Regional Airport Authority is excited to partner with Richmond Community College and Scotland County in this endeavor to develop a much-needed aspect of our workforce,” said Seth Hatchell, assistant director for the airport. “The placement of the program at the Laurinburg-Maxton Airport provides great exposure to the county's largest industrial workforce and potential future job placement right next door.”
McInnis said the space is exactly what the College needs for a permanent and regularly operating program, where it can have a driving range and a secure fenced-in area to contain vehicles and trailers.
Funding for the program comes from a $1.5 million allotment in the 2021-2022 State Budget recently passed by the General Assembly.
“Scotland County Economic Development Corporation is grateful to RichmondCC and the NC General Assembly for locating a truck driving facility in Scotland County. This facility will not only assist our recruitment efforts, but also provide our current industries and citizens with an opportunity to create new high paying jobs,” said Economic Developer for Scotland County Mark Ward.
For the past five years, RichmondCC has partnered with Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute to provide truck driver training, but the allotment from the state and this property transfer agreement will allow RichmondCC to have its own truck driver program.
“I believe the truck driving training school being in Scotland County further enhances RichmondCC’s impact on Scotland County and gives our residents a great opportunity to develop a skill and find employment in one of our most vital and needed professions,” said Whit Gibson, who is chairman of the Board of Commissioners for Scotland County. “I believe our country needs approximately 80,000 drivers currently.”
McInnis said the College’s goal was always to have its own truck driver training program.
“We are very grateful for Mr. Gibson’s leadership as chair of the County Commissioners and the support and vision of all parties involved for making this transaction move forward and for bringing new opportunities to the people of Scotland County,” McInnis said.
The College is currently advertising for an architect to design the improvements needed for the property and is looking to hire someone to manage the program and be the lead instructor.
RichmondCC intends to offer the truck driver training program in Scotland County this spring using a temporary location and rented vehicles until the project is completed. For information about signing up for truck driver training, contact Director of Program Development Holly Collins at (910) 410-1704 or email@example.com. To apply for the CDL program coordinator position, visit Employment.