DOBSON — Southland Transportation Co. has given Surry Community College’s Truck Driver Training Program a large donation with the gift of a 2009 International ProStar road tractor.
R.J. Cummings, president of Southland Transportation Co., handed over the keys of the bright yellow International road tractor to SCC President Dr. David R. Shockley during a ceremony at the Richards Building on the Dobson campus Sept. 12.
“Surry Community College is the biggest asset in our area for all that it does to support the community, and so we want to be a part of that,” Cummings said. “We want to help the college with the Truck Driver Training Program because we want to benefit by hiring drivers directly from the program.”
Southland serves customers primarily in the automotive industry hauling for large companies like Volvo Trucks, Michelin Tire, Freightliner Truck, ExxonMobil, and Wix Filters. The company was established in 1987 in Dobson with three company trucks and one owner-operator. Southland is now headquartered in Boonville and serves more than 180 customers each month across 48 states and Ontario, Canada.
“We always have an immediate need for truck drivers along with every other transportation company,” said Jason Smith, vice president of Southland Transportation Co. “There’s a tremendous shortage in the industry. We hope to help the industry by putting more new drivers in the field, which will help our company along with others.”
Shockley expressed gratitude to Southland for the generous donation.
“We cannot thank Southland Transportation Co. enough for this wonderful gift. We are truly blessed at Surry Community College to have generous business leaders like Southland in our community,” Shockley said. “This truck will be dedicated to Southland Transportation Co., and their company name will always be signified on this truck as it travels throughout this region.”
SCC Board of Trustees Chairwoman Alice Connolly was present for the donation ceremony along with board members: Andy Anderson, Pat Widdowson, Cindy McBride, Eddie Harris, Wayne Atkins, Dr. Ann Vaughn, Ginger Wilkins, Ed Carter, Lynn Kennedy, Gene Rees and Tim Dockery.
Surry Community College is offering its 11th Truck Driving Training course and recently graduated its 10th class of drivers. The next student orientation will be held Oct. 10 at 10 a.m. at The Yadkin Center, 1001 College Drive, Yadkinville. Classes will start on Oct. 31 and run through Jan. 19, 2017. Classes will meet Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at The Yadkin Center.
The Truck Driver Training Program was implemented in March of 2014 to answer the demand for truck drivers. To date, 99 students have graduated from the program. For more information about SCC’s Truck Driver Training Program, contact Dr. Wayne Matthews at 336-386-3584 or [email protected]