There’s been a big increase in the demand for truck drivers in recent years and Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC) is making moves to meet that demand and train more drivers in the future.

To that end, the community college is currently seeking approval from the State of North Carolina to build a Truck Drive Track at its Greensboro campus.

This week, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners is expected to approve a request from the school to construct a truck drive track at the Greensboro campus to be used as part of the college’s truck driver training program.

According to county documents describing the plan and its financing, “Semi-trailer trucks are heavy and require specially constructed pads to accommodate their weight. The total cost of the project is $5,000,000 and GTCC, through the County’s participation and support, received a federal grant from the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration in the amount of $1,741,378. The State is providing … funds in the amount of $3,258,622. No County funds are required for this project.”

The State Of North Carolina requires county notification and approval as part of the State’s certification process for this type of capital project – so the commissioners must sign off on this $5 million project.

The good news is that, after the completion of the track, it’s not expected to require any future county dollars for maintenance and operation.

GTCC officials point out that, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment of heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers is projected to grow 4 percent from 2021 to 2031, about as fast as the average for all occupations. As the demand for goods increases, more truck drivers will be needed to keep supply chains moving.”

GTCC offers a comprehensive training program meant to teach students enough to pass the state test for large truck drivers and also provide them “hands-on driving practice” – something the new track will help with immensely.

Scholarships are available to help cover program costs for those interested in becoming truck drivers.

Students seeking admission to the GTCC Truck Driver Training Program must be at least 18 years old, be a US citizen or permanent resident alien and pass a Department of Transportation physical exam and meet several other requirements.

In addition to funds for the track, this week the county is also expected to pass along to the state a request from the community college for a new air Handler unit in Davis Hall at the Jamestown campus. GTCC previously allocated $450,000 of its annual capital maintenance funds allocated from Guilford County towards that project.