Eight students currently enrolled at the CDL Training Center at Susquehanna County Career & Technology Center (SCCTC) are excited to know that there are more than enough driving jobs available when they graduate. GasSearch Drilling Services, Cabot’s water transport subsidiary, has 50 openings alone between their Montrose and Lenox locations.
That was the word from GDS operations manager Chad Gorman. The CDL students got great news recently when he and Bob Bennie, night shift trucking foreman, visited the school with us to talk about the possibilities their CDL certifications will bring their way.
“It’s an exciting opportunity for you,” Bob told the students, who ranged in age from 18 to 38. “You come out of here ready to run a truck. We’ll train you how to run the tank.”
Chad and Bob went through the impressive list of benefits offered at GDS. These benefits include paid training, night shift differential, paid holidays and sick days, and a six percent match for 401K retirement plans. GDS has enjoyed a high success rate from hiring students directly from the CDL school. However, Chad related that GDS is not the only outfit in town and encouraged them to look into other companies who need drivers. “We’re all working together,” he remarked.
Cabot’s external affairs manager Bill desRosiers and I also spoke to the students. I told them to take a look at the nice employee pickup trucks parked in the GDS lot. If they want an idea of how well these drivers are doing, that’s a prime example! Bill added, “I’m a big proponent for getting the CDL as a resume booster, even if you never drive a truck.”
The students were provided information and applications before we stepped outside. It was a stellar summer day to present a $40,000 check to SCCTC to provide scholarships for CDL students. Using EITC funds, we were able to cover tuition costs for five high school seniors who were also graduating from their respective schools this year. An extra $10,000 will go towards $500 scholarships for the older students.
“It helps a lot, actually,” said Gavin Baker, a senior at Susquehanna High School. “I didn’t have to pay a single penny out of pocket.” Gavin has been passing the busy GDS facility in Lenox over the past year and couldn’t help thinking that a career as a water hauler might be right for him. “I can make a good living and sleep in my own bed,” he stated.
“It’s unbelievable how many jobs there are. You can go anywhere with it,” said Steven Bognatz from Tunkhannock. “I worked around trucks for a couple of years. I decided to get my CDL and get behind the wheel of a truck.”
“It’s 15 years in the making, and I’m finally here,” Jennifer Pfahl of Tunkhannock remarked. She is excited about starting life over at 38 and pursuing a job by which she can support her family. Jennifer was twice talked out of trucking by family members and credits her enrollment at SCCTC to Trehab’s Workforce Program. She also likes the idea of over-the-road trucking as a way to show her 11-year-old son the country.
As the pandemic eases, SCCTC director Alice Davis is excited to see enrollment on the rise again. “The numbers are coming up with the end of COVID, and the gas industry is growing again,” she stated. And the EITC funds, she added, help students across the school’s entire curriculum.