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Driving school graduates to second location

WARWICK, Ont. - After years of honing the skills of aspiring professional drivers in Northern Ontario, the 5th Wheel Training Institute celebrated the grand opening of a new second campus in Warwick, ...


EXPANDING: The 5th Wheel Training Institute has opened up a new location in Warwick, Ont. featuring a 13-acre yard, student residence and classrooms.

EXPANDING: The 5th Wheel Training Institute has opened up a new location in Warwick, Ont. featuring a 13-acre yard, student residence and classrooms.


WARWICK, Ont. – After years of honing the skills of aspiring professional drivers in Northern Ontario, the 5th Wheel Training Institute celebrated the grand opening of a new second campus in Warwick, Ont.

A chain cutting ceremony replaced the time-honoured tradition of ribbon cutting as the new London-Sarnia Campus was formally introduced to dignitaries, community members, clients and suppliers on June 9 and 10.

The institute is registered and approved as a Private Career College, offering A/Z Truck Driver training and Heavy Equipment Operator programs. The Class A/Z program is certified by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI) and recognized by Markel Insurance as a qualifier for insurance coverage.

“We have had great results because our students are our top priority. All are students and teachers to each other,” said Louise Philbin, education director and owner. “We set solid industry standards which are sometimes difficult and demanding, but our graduates leave here with skills certification and confidence in the job and a positive outlook on their future.”

The drive to provide elite training in the transportation and construction industries began 21 years ago. In 1985 the husband/wife team of Yvan Chartrand and Louise Philbin founded the institute.

By combining his background as a respected truck driver and her background as a secondary school teacher, the duo has combined with Ed Popkie, executive director, in an effort to establish new standards for truck driver and heavy equipment operator training in Ontario.

“Since 1985, individuals from across Ontario have travelled to our campus in New Liskeard for transportation and construction training. We wanted to provide individuals from Southern Ontario the opportunity to access the same quality training, but closer to their homes,” explained Lynn Heroux, systems development specialist for the 5th Wheel Training Institute.

The new London-Sarnia Campus will operate in addition to the campus in New Liskeard.

Once the Warwick Central Public School, extensive renovations were undertaken in December 2005 to transform the new location into an all-inclusive campus. The north wing of the campus was converted into a student residence, which includes multiple occupancy units. The west wing’s existing classrooms were renovated to meet specific standards and the training yard was resurfaced with 200 truckloads of aggregate and recycled asphalt.

“We were very pleased to find a site in the Township of Warwick that met all of our educational needs. The former Warwick Central Public School was the perfect setting for 5th Wheel Training Institute,” noted Heroux. “It allowed for an easy transformation into a premier equipment training site. It includes a 13-acre yard, student residence, modern classrooms and equipment. Also, our proximity to major population centres and highways makes it easy for anyone to access the campus for training.”

Guests during the open house got a first-hand look at the institute’s new digs and had an opportunity to meet the instructors and team members. Outdoor displays featured the excavator, backhoe-loader, bulldozer, dump truck, transport safety and load security, which included a float trailer, skid steer and forklift.

“As leaders in equipment operator training, we continue to set new training standards and are proactive by delivering relevant programs that meet industry safety and training needs,” said Heroux. “Our goal remains steadfast; to provide quality training programs that get people to work. We are extremely proud of our past and present accomplishments and look forward to a successful future at our London-Sarnia Campus.”

Training programs began at the new campus in January and since its launch more than 50 students have graduated and found employment. For further information on the 5th Wheel Training Institute’s programs and services, or to schedule a campus tour, call 888-647-7202.


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