Information provided by South Suburban College
SOUTH HOLLAND, Ill. (December 11, 2022) – South Suburban College (SSC) and Pace Bus are have announced a partnership to provide a free CDL Class B commercial driver’s license permit course for the next generation of professional bus operators in the Chicago Southland region. The college and transportation agency have teamed up to offer a customized two-week period to assist qualified applicants in obtaining their CDL permit. To remove financial barriers for students to pursue and complete the program actively, Pace will cover the costs of tuition, training, books, fees, and other expenses associated with the program. In addition, in partnership with Pace, SSC’s Work Equity Initiative will provide additional support and resources to students completing the Pace training.
On January 17, 2023, South Suburban College will host a pre-hire event for job seekers to meet with Pace staff. During the 3-hour event, which begins at 6 p.m., applicants will complete a screening process which includes application completion, an assessment questionnaire, and a background check. All candidates must bring a valid Illinois driver’s license and a DMV or Secretary of State Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) (also called Driving Record Abstracts in Illinois) with no more than two infractions or tickets in the last five years. Candidates are responsible for the $12 MVR, the only cost associated with the entire program.
Assessment results will be available two to four days after the event, when candidates must complete an Illinois Department of Transportation physical and drug screening. Pace will cover the cost of these screenings. Candidates who pass these screenings will be enrolled in a training course that will take place in February at South Suburban College.
Partnership with Pace
In a meeting on Tuesday, November 22, SSC President Dr. Lynette D. Stokes, SSC Vice President of Academic Services Dr. Tasha Williams, Pace Safety and Training Manager Sharri Pappas, and Pace Chief Operating Officer Lindsey Umek, celebrated the successful partnership between the two entities as it will be the first for the south suburbs.
“I am excited to have SSC be the first in this area to launch an opportunity of this magnitude. At SSC, we are dedicated to providing high-quality education, training, and services for all individuals who can benefit from our programs. In addition, we want to provide accessible and affordable programs to a diverse community of learners in collaboration with local businesses. Our partnership with Pace Bus embodies all of these key tenets,” said Dr. Stokes.
The program will run through SSC’s Continuing Education Program, with classes being offered at its main campus. Dr. Matt Beasland, Executive Director of the Oak Forest Center, said, “The program is a first in this region, and we are excited to bring this opportunity to the local community. The opportunity will provide jobs and livable wages with minimum pay starting at $20.”
Qualified candidates who complete the two-week program will transition to a six-week on-the-job training with Pace. For more information about the CDL Class B licensure program with SSC and Pace Bus, get in touch with SSC’s Continuing Education Program at 708-596-2000 ext. 5723.
South Suburban College is located at 15800 South State Street in South Holland.