Ruan and Hawkeye Community College have announced their new partnership for driver hiring and training. Ruan recently donated two driver simulators to Hawkeye for its Regional Transportation Training Center. Additionally, the college and Ruan have partnered on a Military Driver Apprenticeship program offered to separating U.S. military personnel.
The simulators were donated by Ruan to Hawkeye using the 260E tax credit, which is provided to businesses participating in the Iowa Industrial New Jobs Training Program. Ruan chose to make this donation to Hawkeye in an effort to offer professional driving students realistic, hands-on experience behind a virtual wheel.
“These simulators offer the most realistic virtual driving experience on the market. They offer selectable transmission layout, distance and speed perception training, simulation of the air brake system, motion and vibration of the cabin, an extensive set of training scenarios, and more,” said Shawn Goad, vice president of operations for Ruan. “The experience students will have using these simulators is as close to reality as possible, without risking the safety of the motoring public. Allowing students to virtually experience and learn from the challenges they’ll face on the road is invaluable. We thank Hawkeye Community College for this partnership and for training the next generation of professional drivers.”
The Military Driver Apprenticeship program was developed in partnership with Ruan and Hawkeye, a recognized education partner of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Through the apprenticeship, Ruan will guide separating U.S. military personnel with military operational specialty 88M through an accredited Department of Labor Truck Driving Apprenticeship and employ them as a Class A CDL professional driver. Trainees will attend a six-week truck driver training program at Hawkeye, six weeks of one-on-one training with a Ruan team safety instructor, and complete competency testing at the college. With all these steps completed, trainees will graduate to an Apprentice-level driver position with Ruan. After nine months as an Apprentice-level driver, trainees will graduate the program and have the opportunity to join Ruan as a regular, professional driver.
“In fiscal year 2019, Hawkeye trained nearly 1,000 individuals in full CDL training or CDL refresher courses. The demand for heavy tractor trailer drivers is projected to grow by 12 percent in the next 10 years. So, today is a very exciting day as we announce a new partnership with Ruan—a company focused on safety and serving the community,” said Aaron Sauerbrei, executive director of business and community education for Hawkeye Community College. “What makes this Military Driver Apprenticeship program unique is that participants will be earning 90 percent of a regular driving wage for the majority of the apprenticeship. This means that these trainees will earn approximately $40,000-45,000 a year while in training and learning a high-demand skill.”
For more information about the Military Driver Apprenticeship program, visit www.ruan.com/88M. To learn more about CDL and other transportation training opportunities at Hawkeye, call 319-296-4286 or visit www.hawkeyecollege.edu/truck-driving.