TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTLX) — "I knew that this was a very marketable field. I want to own my own trucking company one day, so I came here to TCC," says Dennis Smith.
TCC will soon offer an entrepreneurship course for people who were once incarcerated.
The program, called Breaker-Breaker-One-Nine, is an extension of the schools existing Commercial Driver License program.
The new component will help students one day become business owners. Dennis Smith is now only two weeks away from completing his CDL certification.
"It was very challenging, but the instructors here are very consciousness. They are very knowledgeable and most important, they care. They really want to see you graduate. That has been helpful for me," says Smith.
The new course will take two weeks to complete. Students will learn about financial literacy, the trucking business, tax and compliance, and marketing and branding.
There is currently shortage of 80,000 truck drivers. That’s according to the American Trucking Association. James Taylor-Brown has been a part of TCC's trucking program since 2017 and feels this program is necessary to help fill the gap.
"Truckers are kind of the nucleus to how logistical functions, freight, and everything else gets from one point to another. Mainly everything that I have on, that I'm wearing, everything that I'm going to eat today comes in on a truck. It's the backbone of America," says Taylor-Brown.
The program will be able to serve up to 36 students a year. With the current CDL program TCC has seen an 88% success rate.
Director Jessica Griffin credits the school's success to the individuals who put in the time and effort.
“When it comes to individuals that are justice involved everyone is looking for a second chance. What better way to provide them an opportunity than to go through something that’s in demand, that can be life changing, as well as provide them an opportunity where they can own their own business,” says Griffin.