Albert Follows in his Fathers Footsteps

Albert Sais graduated with his commercial truck driver’s license, proudly sharing with us, “My father was a truck driver.”

The skills yard training was tough. He said, “The clutch would give me trouble along with the parallel parking, but I just listened to [my instructor] and got it down.”

He said that his current plans are to “possibly start for a company that I got a pre-hire from, if not, apply at some jobs back home and put my CDL skills to work.” At this time, he is working with the placement department to see his options.

We asked him what surprised him the most. Albert answered, “The knowledge the instructor has. I was nervous about taking the course and when I saw [my instructor's] teaching skills and ability to teach anyone, I knew I could do it. [...] You get all endorsements, great teaching, flexible, and a smart choice.”

“I just wanted to have something else on my background and to also show my Dad I can do it.”

OTR to Local in 3 Months

After returning from 3 months of the mentor program with a trucking carrier, Vanessa Abdin landed another job locally! “I just enjoyed the driving!” she explained to us. Over the duration of her time, she saw Georgia, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and all over the Midwest. “I finally got to see all over my home state!” Vanessa is from Texas. The most beautiful thing she saw was the Rocky Mountains, she described to us. “It’s a whole new world!”

abdin“This will probably crack Ken up but me mentor said I was a natural at backing up!” Vanessa mentioned what her mentor said about her driving.

Now she’s working for school services driving a bus locally to help disabled children. She feels like she is really making a difference. She went on her own to obtain a passenger endorsement and picked up the job recently. On top of that requirement, her class A license made her competitive among the rest of the applicants. It is also getting her higher wages than those without the class A license at her company. “Having a clean record really helps,” added Vanessa. “I feel so good about this bus driving.”

She told her CCS instructor, “you’d be so proud of me, I can drive anything now!” He told me, “You’ll never forget what you experienced out there.”

“I’d do it again, thank you,” she replied.

Student Transfer

Lidia T. graduated with her commercial truck driver’s license, and proudly shared with us that she is, “excited to get to work”!

Lidia did not start her training here at CCS, but transferred here. Luckily the Agency she was funded by, allowed her to transfer to our program at no cost to her.

LidiaTLidia had a better experience here, and received the training that she needed. Lidia said that our instructors here are “nice, and patience can really help people learn better.” Coming here Lidia was able to train on full size equipment which made it easier for her to be employable. She also had better hands on training, doing her entire training on the truck and not in a classroom. Lidia worked with our Placement Department and discussed a selection of companies that would fit her needs best. Truck driving is an adventure and she is prepared now and will find her way as she goes.

Lidia shared with us a story that she used to tell her kids when they were younger, “Princess Diana had the heart to hug sick people even though she was beautiful and wealthy. We all try to run away from people that are ill or ugly, but we are all special”. Lidia knows that she is going to face difficulties in a “man’s world” but says that “we all deserve respect” and she will not allow others to walk over her.

Lidia said, “I would recommend CCS to anyone! Just the other day, I encouraged someone to come here while sitting at the agency”. Thanks Lidia and congratulations on all your hard work! We wish you all the success.

Refer-a-Friend

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We have had so many great success stories and we just want to keep them coming. Many people have started a new career path and gone to amazing companies and seen a lot of interesting places. Here at CCS we just want to say thank you for making our experience enjoyable. So now it is time to return thefavor. Earn extra income for helping a friend find a career.

 

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Fall down 7, get up 8

 After getting his commercial class A license last week, Steve Fisher sat down and shared with us his difficulties and how they brought him to our doorstep.

“After I lost my job I was a little bit of a wreck. I was trying to think what I should do next and for the better part of 7 years I’ve always thought about getting my Class A license. So I decided to take the first step and look online for schools. CCS was the first one on the list. So I gave them a call and I talked to a gentlemen and he was very nice and gave me a rundown (over the phone) of the school. He told me about a program that went through Coastline Community College and that also had ties to One-Stop Center of Orange County. The program was designed to help people start a new trade and also find a new job. The gentleman told me that the program would help pay for the course. After talking to the gentleman, I went and looked at some other schools, two that were close to me and they were a little cheaper. But one school I would have had to go out to Riverside to train and CCS– they trained here in Anaheim.”

The key thing, he told us was, “I just wanted to be able to start a new, fresh start. I also was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to do or even finish the course. I’m glad that I proved myself wrong.”

“It was more than one light bulb that went off. Each step from the test that I had to study, the pre-trip, 5 point brake inspection, the alley dock, the parallel parking and learning to double clutch,” Steve added. “The difficulties and obstacles I faced were that I have a really bad memory and how did I overcome it? I just wouldn’t let myself quit. I just had to do this. To prove to myself I could do it!”

We asked him what was surprising or unexpected about his experienced. He said, “There was when we went to take the test at the DMV and to see all the different schools that were there and how bad their students were at doing the skills test. I was very lucky that my instructors showed me the right away and safe way to drive and park.”

“The school wouldn’t give up on me,” Steve told us. Right now, he concluded, “I’m looking forward to getting a new job. There are many different schools out there but if you want one of the best then CCS is the best choice.”

Girly Truck Drivers Welcome

“I am very girly,” explained Natalie Jasso-Padilla,  graduate from the CCS commercial truck and bus training program. We asked her, why get into trucking? Her biggest motivation, she told us, was to beat the stereotype of female truckers and that even a ‘girly girl’ like herself would be able to succeed in the profession. When Natalie is not in her truck, she rides a Suzuki GSXR600, already a step beyond what most women are comfortable with. “I was hit on the way to an interview,” she referred to one of her first applications after earning her CCS certificate. An accident occurred with vehicles in front of her that did not see her bike. She picked up road rash despite wearing appropriate gear. “When I got there, I was so embarrassed!” But she got the job– its local and she is able to come home every night.

Natalie trained with her truck driver stepdad for a little bit before coming to California Career School. MyCAA funding and the ability to receive a lot of drive time is what helped her choose CCS. MyCAA is the Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts method of funding for student tuition available to military spouses. Natalie’s husband Oscar was deployed during her attendance at our school and his being in the military opened up this avenue of funding for Natalie. We just helped her get the paperwork arranged.

One of the hardest parts of training was pre-trip and 5 point. She laughed as she explained why she made this hard for herself. “Parts of the truck– I didn’t care to learn it. I hated it! I had a little bit of stubbornness. What Donnavin [CCS instructor] did is take the time to make sure I knew it.”

“Start from the beginning!” Donnavin repeated to her over and over to make sure that everything was reviewed as many times as possible. After regular training hours were done, he showed her additional material like power points and books– whatever was available to help her understand this key section of the course. “I just wanted to drive!” Natalie said, “But I knew I had to learn it.” With the right attitude and the extra push from her instructor, she made it through.

We talked for quite some time. Natalie had tons of stories of what she’d seen on the road from her towering cab, some much better shared after hours! There would be strange people hovering by her truck for miles and police activity of Hollywood proportions, “I’ve seen the SWAT team, like 10 cop cars– it was just like loaded!” She put it this way, “You’re gonna see things that you don’t want to see because you’re constantly on the road.”

“I’ve always wanted to drive a truck… I knew it was going to be hard but you don’t really know until you’re out there.” Numerous times, especially in the realm of parking her trailer, Natalie described the unusual set-ups that drivers have to maneuver through and the inconveniences posed by the circumstances. It is absolutely regular for her to park her truck and be told afterwards that male counterparts could have done it better. “You have to be strong,” she went on, “especially when you’re a girl ’cause the guys are mean.”

Since the beginning, Natalie wanted to break the expectations of what women can do and of what others think of female truckers. “It’s not easy, but what helps me is I get to be a role model. [On the road] I like being next to school buses because the little girls see me– they’re smiling and waving. Kids in cars say, ‘Mom, look!’”

Helping His Family From Afar

Jacob came back to our headquarters last week to share that he is about to buy his own truck and has secured a job for Fedex doing OTR as an owner operator! After things settle down for a bit, he will be visiting his family in Liberia to see what he can do for them.

Congratulations Jacob!!

Eight years ago, Jacob Benson left his home in Liberia, Africa to pursue his dream of becoming a professional truck driver and find a way to help support the family he had just left behind.

Jacob dedicated the next few years to saving up money so that he could help his family get away from the war in Liberia. He worked diligently. Eventually, Jacob had sent enough money that his family was able to move out of Liberia and start a new life in the safety of Ghana. Once he knew that his loved ones were safe and well provided for, he was able to pursue his dream.

Jacob enrolled in trucking school. He completed his training, received his CDL and applied for a driving position with Swift Transportation. Although his application was approved, when it came time to complete Swift’s driving tests, Jacob found himself struggling. “The experience I got in training wasn’t enough.” Jacob stated, “I had my license but the type of transmission I was used to driving was not up to their standards.” Swift recommended that Jacob reapply after completing some additional training.

Disappointed but determined to succeed, Jacob had a realization. He explained, “I found California Career School a few years ago. A truck class was training in a lot behind my house. I stopped and talked to the instructor, Robert, about my plans to become a truck driver. I wasn’t ready at the time but he told me to contact the school as soon as I was… and that is how I ended up at California Career School.”

At enrollment, Jacob explained his situation. Since he had already obtained his CDL, it was agreed that the classroom time and permit study would be redundant. Jacob was given credit for the first two weeks of the program and joined his classmates once they were ready to head out on the road. “The training offered here was so much better.” Jacob said “At my previous school, I was trained on an 8 speed, 28 foot trailer. Here, we train only on full size trailers with 10 speed manual transmission. My first day training here I said, ‘wow, backing a 48 foot truck is very different than backing a 28 foot truck.’” He continued, “I was also able to drive on the freeways here. I was never given that opportunity at the other school. Robert made sure to let me practice in the real situations that I will face as a professional trucker.”

Jacob met with his placement coordinator early in training to get started on the pre-hire process. He applied for driving positions with Swift Transportation, Werner Enterprises, Gordon Trucking Inc., CRST, Schneider, Covenant Transport, US Xpress and Stevens Transportation. Jacob wanted to choose a company that he would stay with for the duration of his career, so he began researching each of the carriers to find his perfect fit. Jacob explained, “I looked at each company’s policies, how well and how long they train you and I read the testimonies of their drivers. I also looked at what kind of equipment they provided and whether or not they upgraded it on a regular basis.”

Ultimately, all (yes, ALL) of the carriers he applied for responded and offered him a position with their company. Jacob had already decided that he would like to work for Covenant Transportation. He smiled and said, “My first choice was Covenant and I am sticking to it.”

Jacob just completed his training with Covenant and stopped by to visit while he was in town waiting to be assigned a truck. He told me stories from the road and talked about the different kinds of weather conditions he had encountered while driving with his mentor. Jacob has finally achieved his goal! I asked what he planned to do next. Without hesitation, Jacob replied, “Once I have driven for one year, by the grace of God, I am going to buy my own truck and become an owner operator. Then I will come back to visit and show you my truck. I couldn’t have done this without you.”

Before leaving, there was one more update that Jacob wanted to share… he had just received his legal resident status and would finally be able to visit his family in Liberia!!!

What an exciting couple of months it’s been!!! Congratulations Jacob from all of us at California Career School! We are so fortunate to have been given the opportunity to share in your success. Good luck out there! We are looking forward to your next update!!!

“I would recommend California Career School to anybody that wants to be a professional truck driver. I would like to thank the instructors for their efficiency and the administration for being very professional, helpful and kind towards me and everybody that I trained with.”
–Jacob Benson

Zach, Mario & Jaaron Receive their CDL at our Twentynine Palms Location

These three students received their commercial truck driver’s license all from our Twentynine Palms training site, and we wanted to congratulate them on their success in the course!

Congratulations Zach Graff for receiving your CDL with a passenger endorsement!

Zack stated that he was having difficulties with “double clutching but the instructors explained that many new companies expect new drivers to double clutch”. Bailey, one of our instructors, then “explained how and why he needed to learn double clutch”. Despite the difficulties that Zach faced while training, he was able to overcome them and obtain his license.

Zach stated that the instructors were “hands on” and “aware”, “any time you needed help a teacher would be there”. One thing that Zach wanted potential students to know about CCS is that “the instructors will not give up; they will help every student understand each obstacle so that you can safely drive the truck”.

Congratulations Mario Ramos for receiving your CDL!

Mario chose to attend CCS because of our “flexibility, being able to attend school after work was a huge help to accomplish [his] goals”. Mario also stated that the “difference between other schools and CCS, CCS focuses on its students not like other schools. Other schools seem to care about money or the schools own interest, not its students”.

Congrats to Jaaron Hudson for receiving his CDL with a passenger endorsement!

Jaaron’s goal is “to become an Automotive/Diesel Technician. A CDL will soon be required for all Diesel Techs”. Jaaron is planning “to attain [his] certification as a Diesel Technician” now that he has completed his training.

One moment that stood out about Jaaron’s training was when he realized “how much my instructors; Ward, Bailey, and later Zach, cared when they would stop all driving, bring all the students into the classroom and fully explain from step 1 till the end of how all obstacles and events are to be done in the correct manner. Following instruction, they would answer all questions thoroughly. This is a great way to clear the air when students are confused”. Jaaron also stated that “the instructors really over prepare the students for DMV testing”.

“CCS is number 1. CCS will not quit on you and when it’s all said and done a student can look back on a great choice”.

 

Thanks you guys for the awesome feedback! And once again, we’d like to congratulate you for all your success in the course! We wish you well in all your future endeavors!

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Student Receives Placement Assistance

An alumnus of our Truck program, Nick Delgado, stopped by our Anaheim campus to share details of his new job with us. After spending almost a year as an over the road driver with Schneider, Nick was ready for a change. He contacted our Placement Coordinator, Marcelle, for assistance in finding different opportunities that may be available with his new experience. After hearing from Nick, and with great timing, a representative from Second Harvest contacted Marcelle looking for a qualified CDL Driver. After Marcelle recommended Nick for the position and helped to facilitate the application process, Nick was given an interview and was hired for the job! The experience that Nick gained over the road made a difference in the opportunities that the Placement Department could expose him to. He now drives local routes picking up donations from various grocery chains as well as delivering food to the community. He is enjoying his new schedule and the ability to spend more time at home, all while working for a great organizational cause.

All graduates of California Career School are provided lifetime placement services and are always encouraged to keep in communication with our Placement Department. Many employers contact us with employment opportunities for qualified drivers and our Placement Department is happy to facilitate in the process; this serves as a win-win for employers who receive referrals at no cost and students who deserve great employment opportunities to serve their future.
California Career School’s Placement Department was happy to participate in Nick’s career change.

Congratulations on the new job and for your continuous success Nick!

May Trucking Field Rep visits CCS

Katie, one of the field reps for May Trucking, came by and talked to our students here at our Anaheim location. Katie travels to Anaheim and Twenty nine Palms and will be adding our Camp Pendleton site to her rotation and actively seeks out our students. She spent many years as a CDL driver prior to her field representative work so she gives the students valuable inside knowledge about the industry and the reality of starting out. She discussed the training program, the pay, and other extra benefits that the company provides. Two of our current students that attended the meeting, enjoyed that May Trucking would allow the trainee to “pick their pay by mile or a $90 a day for 90 days flat rate” option. Our students also stated that what they liked most was, “if a person would have received more money through mileage at the end of the 90 days, then the company would pay the difference”, thus receiving the most money possible.

May Trucking also allows drivers to bring a pet that is under 60 pounds for a $650 fee, and the driver receives $500 of their money back once the pet vacates the vehicle. The other $150 is used to clean the truck after the driver’s journey is over. Many people enjoy being able to have company and a pet is great companion. A driver can also bring a person on for a minimal fee.

The students that went to the recruiter meeting felt as if the training was better than most companies because only the trainee drives and the trainer does not. Most companies will have the trainer and trainee split the drive time, which they felt did not allow the learner to improve to their full potential. This portion only lasts between 2-3 weeks and the trainer will then discuss what the trainee needs more work in, such as: more time driving in traffic, practice backing up, etc.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, In May 2012, the most occupational employment with heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers is in these top 5 states:
Texas: 144,900
California: 122,660
Pennsylvania: 70,980
Florida: 65,410
Ohio: 65,340

BLS also states that, “employment for truck drivers is projected to grow 21% from 2010 to 2020, this is faster than the average for all occupations. As the economy grows, the demand for goods will increase, and more truck drivers will be needed to keep supply chains moving”.

It is never too late to start a new career path and get your CDL, and with great companies always looking to recruit and expand, it has never been easier.