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KDOT awards $333,625 to SCCC’s CDL Program Expansion

Joe Denoyer - January 30, 2024 3:54 pm

By Rachel Coleman

LIBERAL, Kan. – Seward County Community College has been selected to receive $333,625 in state funds as part of the Kansas Innovative Technology Program through the Kansas Department of Transportation. The funds apply to the SCCC Commercial Drivers License (CDL) Program Expansion project currently underway.

“We’ve been hard at work to expand our CDL program in response to the nationwide shortage of truck drivers,” said SCCC Dean of Career and Technical Education Dr. Amber Jones. “The grant from KDOT will enable us to accelerate and solidify our ability to train good drivers for the region’s industries.”

SCCC President Brad Bennett said the College has already set up an ambitious framework, partnering with Garden City Community College to provide CDL instruction in that location, while expanding the course openings in Liberal. Over the past year, SCCC has nearly doubled its number of CDL graduates, and anticipates even more growth as the program expands.

“We want to support the regional economy through our CDL program, and provide a pipeline for success for our students,” said Bennett. “The partnership with Garden City is a first step. Our next move is opening the West Campus location in Liberal to grow the CDL program here and strengthen and expand our diesel technology program.”

SCCC purchased a parcel of land and an existing building in the last quarter of 2023 specifically for this project. The property is located on Western Avenue, just north of Liberal High School and across from Blue Bonnet Park, with plenty of space for a driving course, classrooms, administration, and hands-on shop areas.

KDOT’s support comes with a list of requirements for SCCC, including a $111,875 local match in funds. The college is also responsible for preliminary engineering and design, currently under way, right-of-way, utilities, non-participating items, costs that exceed the state award, and ongoing operations and maintenance.

“The funding from the state of Kansas is a tremendous help,” said Bennett. “We’ve already gotten a great start on the plan; now we’re ready to make it happen in 2024.”

 

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