The College of Southern Idaho has teamed with Sage Truck Driving School to begin truck driving classes at CSI’s Mini Cassia Center in Burley. The first class will start Monday, Feb. 4.
The program provides students with the training necessary to earn their Class A commercial driver’s license, including endorsements for double and triple trailers, tankers, and hazardous materials. Classes will run from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each Monday through Friday and will consist of intensive classroom and behind-the-wheel training. Students can opt for a four- or five-week course depending on how much driving time they sign up for. Specialized training course are also available to fit the individual needs of local trucking companies.
“We’re excited to open this new program. We feel it’s going to fill a tremendous need, especially in the Mini Cassia area,” said CSI Technical Division Dean Terry Patterson. “CSI has received many requests over the years, especially from the Burley/Rupert area, for a truck driving school. The partnership with Sage will benefit everyone.”
Sage Schools started in 1989 and have grown to 27 locations throughout the United States. Many are affiliated with colleges. “We do things a little differently from many truck driving schools,” said company spokesman Lynn Jorgensen of Blackfoot. “For one thing, when it comes to actual truck driving experience, we put one student with one instructor in the cab so the student gets the full attention and direction of our driving professional. We also work closely with the local and regional trucking companies to help place our students in good jobs immediately upon their graduation from the program.”
Demand for truck drivers with a Class A CDL remains high with entry level drivers typically making more than $30,000 a year in southern Idaho. The Idaho Department of Labor’s Career Information System reports the Idaho median salary for drivers of heavy trucks is $34,550 annually.
The Mini Cassia Center office will be managed by Lucky Bourn of Rupert, a long time professional truck driver. Bourn says once classes begin, he’ll start a new group every Monday, year around. Class groups will vary from two to twelve students, depending on how many are signed up for that week. Bourn will also consult with students about payment options, which can include assistance from granting agencies such as WIA, Vocational Rehabilitation, and the Veterans Administration, as well as several local and regional agencies.
An open house will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31 at the Mini Cassia Center to help acquaint the public with how the school operates. For more information, call the CSI Truck Driving School office at the Mini Cassia Center at 208-878-5802. Callers can also use the toll free number, which is 877-722-4882. Information is also available at www.sageschools.com.