Lone Star College puts truck drivers on the road
For 20 years, Cecil Conde worked as a radio producer and a traffic reporter flying over Houston’s roadways in a news helicopter alerting motorists about accidents, but felt he wanted to do more.
After speaking with a family member, Conde enrolled into the Lone Star College Transportation Institute with his sights on being a trucker.
Currently there is a shortage of trained drivers who are in high demand. According to the American Trucking Association, more than 200,000 drivers will be needed between now and 2020. Students can potentially be trained as drivers in just six short weeks, and it’s not just a young man’s career; the average age of a LSC Transportation Institute student is 36 and 12 percent are women.
“Lone Star College not only trained me to be a good driver, but also how to be a good employee,” said Conde, who is currently employed by Service Transport Company. “My trainer taught me how to present myself to a DPS officer and other bits of information that I still use today.”
The LSC Transportation Institute boasts a 98 percent placement rate for graduates of its Professional Truck Driver Program. Students have the opportunity to meet recruiters from over-the-road companies such as Stevens Transportation, Service Transport, Werner Enterprises, Maverick, DART Transit and US Xpress Enterprises.
Conde’s advice for someone thinking about becoming a professional driver is “do it the right way.”
“Don’t waste your time on a fly-by-night training school. It was always about safety during my training at Lone Star College,” said Conde. He was recently presented the 1,000,000 Mile Safe Driver Award at his company, which recognizes drivers who receive no write-ups or violations over a 10-year period.
“What I most enjoy is the freedom of the open road,” said Conde, who has driven in 45 of the 50 states. “It’s like taking a little vacation and getting to see different sites”.