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Ten things to know about TCC’s Truck Driving program

Why sit behind a desk when you can sit behind the wheel? A trucking career allows you the opportunity for financial reward and professional growth thanks to a job where you’re always on the move.

TCC has its own fleet of trucks for student drivers.
  1. Sixteen weeks is all it takes to train for a new trucking career. Tidewater Community College’s Truck Driving program offers classes that cover Department of Transportation rules and regulations, defensive driving, maintenance, hazardous material and highway and city driving.
  2. Day, evening and weekend classes are offered year-round.
  3. TCC is the only driver training program that runs its own program that includes a state-of-the-art driving simulator, as well as a fleet of trucks.
  4. TCC’s instructors have over 100 years of behind-the-wheel truck driving experience to share with students during the program.
  5. Military veterans pay zero for tuition and fees thanks to a federal grant offered through the college’s Center for Military and Veterans Education.
  6. After completing the program, TCC instructors take students to the DMV test site for the final skills exam. Students must be able to successfully complete a series of tests including a set of backing maneuvers with the truck and a road test in live traffic.
  7. TCC students have a 98% pass rate on the DMV tests for commercial licenses.
  8. The trucking program at TCC provides 120 hours in the classroom and 140 hours of practical application.
  9. TCC hosts recruiters and employers to visit classes and present employment opportunities for graduates. There are more than 60,000 available jobs in this industry.
  10. The price is right, too. TCC’s program is 40% cheaper than private trucking schools.
TCC is the only school in Hampton Roads with a driving simulator.

For more information about TCC’s Truck Driving program, contact Matt Woods at or call 757-822-2639.

Marine vet finds new career on the road thanks to TCC trucking grant

Former U.S. Marine Chris Gaillard found a new career as a truck driver after the training she received at Tidewater Community College that came without a price tag.

“I love what I do,” said Gaillard, who benefitted from a federal grant awarded to TCC’s Center for Military and Veterans Education (CMVE) that supports trucking training and education for military veterans and their families. “I’m doing what I always wanted to do and having the best time of my life.”

Owner of her own Freightliner Classic, Gaillard, 57, was immediately hired by Givens Inc., a transportation, warehousing and logistics company with locations in Seattle, South America and Chesapeake.

After her Marine discharge, Gaillard worked as an auto technician for decades but had been intrigued by trucks since childhood. A single parent, she began saving money to work toward her Career Studies Certificate in Truck Driving when she saw the information online about the grant. After the CMVE assisted her with the application process, she was accepted into the program.

“I was able to spend all the money I saved on living expenses and other things,” she said.

Gaillard completed the program in May 2015 and began her job within a week. She hauls everything from stereo equipment to automobile parts to baby wipes, rarely driving the same route twice.

“The freedom is the biggest thing for me,” she said. “I’m not stuck behind a desk or in a cubicle or in a garage like I was for 35 years. I’m out on the road. I get to see beautiful parts of the country that many may never see for free.”

For information on the Truck Driving program contact Matt Woods at or call 757-822-2639.

Find out about TCC program that allows youth 16-24 to earn GED, workforce credential

If you didn’t graduate from high school and have yet to earn a GED, Tidewater Community College can help with the transition into college.

The college’s BRIDGE-Plus Program, launched in January of this year, serves those between the ages of 16 and 24 who are considered Out of School Youth in accordance with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. High school dropouts, the unemployed, foster children, runaways, homeless children, individuals with disabilities and children of currently incarcerated parents or legal guardians are among those who may meet eligibility requirements.

Two information sessions will be held at TCC’s Portsmouth Campus in Building A. Attend on July 10 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in Room 107 or July 14 from 10-11 a.m. in Room 101.

Participants co-enroll in a GED/Adult Education Program at TCC’s Portsmouth Campus, earning college credit and certifications related to industries, including trucking, certified nurse aide, pharmacy tech, CompTIA A+ certification and medical billing and coding.

The program provides GED prep, a college success skills course, classroom occupational skills training, internships or on-the-job training and a workforce credential to prepare participants for certification and job attainment.

The actual program, with courses and the GED prep, will start around Aug. 1. The program takes about six months to complete.

The inaugural class will graduate on July 26.

For information, contact Shana Owens, program advisor/case manager at or 757-822-2205.