MOOREFIELD, W.Va. – Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College’s Workforce Education Department recently hosted a luncheon to mark several achievements and milestones with the college’s CDL training program.
Megan Webb, dean of advancement and continuing education at Eastern, welcomed several program partners and community leaders to the celebratory event and luncheon held Dec. 14 at Eastern’s campus in Moorefield. The luncheon was planned to mark significant CDL training program milestones and thank supporters, many of whom were present in the audience.
Webb introduced guests Tiffany Ellis-Williams of the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education, Jim Linsenmeyer of the state’s Department of Economic Development, Kyle Reedy of Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation, David Workman of the Hardy County Commission, Freddie Davis of the Tucker County Commission, Greg Greenwalt of Eastern’s Board of Governors, and Ward Malcolm, a Moorefield business owner who previously had been an administrator for the college’s Workforce Education Department. Webb also recognized support from invited guests who were not able to attend that day, including state Sen. Randy Smith (R-Tucker), David Cooper of the Tucker County Community Foundation, and Adam Sanders of the Steeley Foundation.
The luncheon’s invited guests included representatives of organizations that had made significant financial contributions to the program in recent months, allowing the college to purchase two gently used tractors – one with an automatic transmission and with a manual transmission – and a pup trailer.
Webb closed her remarks at the luncheon by showing images of a co-branding project between Eastern and Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation. The project, executed by LMC, a marketing agency in Elkins, features Pilgrim’s Pride branding on half of the program’s new pup trailer, along with Eastern’s Workforce Education Department branding.
Melissa Shockey, Eastern’s Workforce Education program director, then introduced Petersburg resident Mike Sites, CDL instructor, to the audience, and explained how Sites had initiated the transformation of the program by redeveloping its curriculum so the training program could be registered with U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and meet the latest federal requirements.
Sites subsequently introduced Eddie Mullenax of Petersburg as the newest CDL instructor in the program. With Sites and Mullenax working together, Sites said, they have been able to divide up tasks and spend more time with each student, especially in the trucks, and that one-on-one instruction was improving the learning process for students. Also, based on comments from students who have earned their licenses and are driving, those students were well prepared when they entered the workforce.
Since September, Shockey said, 20 students have enrolled in the CDL training program at Eastern, with 14 finishing and earning their CDL license, and six still completing training hours. Nearly all of the program completers are employed.
The luncheon was concluded by Eastern’s president, Thomas Striplin, who credited the state’s Higher Education Policy Commission and the West Virginia Community and Technical College system for supporting workforce education. Striplin said Eastern was doing everything it could to provide workforce training, like the CDL training program, to fill workforce needs in the Potomac Highlands, and that the college valued support from its partners and the community to meet those challenges.
Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College’s Workforce Education Department, based in Moorefield, serves six counties in the Potomac Highlands by offering a variety of affordable workforce trainings, covering CDL training, agriculture, healthcare, welding, and more. Learn more at https://easternwv.edu/workforce-education/