MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - Truck drivers are needed in the Basin.
"Statewide, there's been a struggle in students being able to pass the actual Commercial Drivers License (CDL) exam," said Valerie Jones, Vice President of Instruction, Odessa College.
When they don't pass, they can't work.
"The oil and gas industries and their support contractors certainly need a large number of these folks," said Jones.
That's not the only profession either.
"Anyone who needs folks to drive larger machinery, equipment, construction, renovation and highways," said Jones.
Thanks to a grant from Odessa City Council and the Odessa Development Corporation, Odessa College will now offer students the chance to get their CDL from campus, taught by campus professors.
"This will allow us to buy our own trucks and trailers. It will also allow us to do the facility renovations that are necessary to be able to have the pavement that can sustain the heavy machinery," said Jones.
The $8 million-dollar grant will go to a number of projects. Over $1.7 million of that will go to the schools Truck Driving Academy. It's all being done so students would be funneled into the job market seamlessly.
"We want that for our employers. We want them to be coming to us to say when's the next class," said Jones.
The grant lasts for three years.
The academy is one of the first projects the school plans on starting. Jones tells us the school is leaning towards using the space currently occupied by Sewell Ford on 8th Street after the dealership moves to their new location.