Midland College Transportation Training Program
In May 2018, the Midland Development Corporation authorized the execution of an economic development agreement to sponsor the expansion of Midland College’s transportation training program, in a response to the overwhelming need for CDL drivers in the Permian Basin. This sponsorship was comprised of two parts: funding for the purchase of new equipment for student training, and funding for additional faculty members and program expansion needs, including the designation of Midland College as a third-party DPS testing facility.
Working with the Permian Basin Workforce Board and the Texas Workforce Commission, the MDC obtained a $100,000 grant, which was added to $113,000 in MDC funds to purchase new equipment, such as tractor trucks and vacuum tank trailers. An additional $221,000 of MDC funds was committed to the faculty/program expansion portion of the agreement.
Willie Taylor, the Executive Director of the Permian Basin Workforce Development Board, said: “There’s a desperate need for CDL drivers in the Permian Basin, and Midland College’s growing Transportation Training Program will help to supply this demand. The High Demand Job Training Program is intended to encourage collaboration between workforce boards and economic development entities in order to make local tax dollars go further for job training, and that’s exactly what we’re doing here.”
MDC’s Interim Administrator Sara Harris added, “Obtaining this grant by working with the PBWDB is another great example of how the MDC is focused on building strong partnerships. We couldn’t have done this on our own. The MDC is very thankful to the Texas Workforce Commission for providing us with this funding.”
Employers in Midland often cite the difficulty of finding sufficient trained workforce in the Permian Basin’s robust labor market. Enhancing the skill sets of Midlanders makes them more valuable to employers, and increases potential wages for individuals and households.
Midland College has certified the results of the program expansion. Midland College was obligated to graduate at least 100 students from the transportation training program, of whom 90 were obligated to obtain their CDL. That represented a doubling of Midland College’s prior yearly graduation rate as of October 31, 2018. As of October 31, 2019, Midland College has graduated 109 students, of whom 103 passed their CDL test. Some students were sponsored by corporations like Schlumberger, some by non-profits such as Casa de Amigos, and many through self-pay.
MDC staff is pleased to report the success of this partnership, and the direct economic net benefit to the community these graduates represent. Midland College staff will be presenting to the MDC board at our January meeting with further details and success stories.
Midland, TX 79705