OTTAWA, Ont. — Mountain Transport Institute of Castlegar, B.C. is gearing up to welcome its 100th consecutive graduating class of Earning Your Wheels students this fall.
“By delivering the training that helps students to meet national occupational standards, Mountain Transport Institute is proving that it is a leader in driver training,” says Linda Gauthier, executive director of the Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council (CTHRC).
The 12-week training program, developed by the CTHRC, exposes students to a minimum of 120 hours in the classroom and 85 hours behind the wheel of an articulated tractor-trailer, followed by a minimum of 100 hours behind the wheel during four weeks of supervised workplace experience with a partnering carrier. The program is delivered exclusively through accredited schools such as MTI, and by certified coaches and instructors.
Earning Your Wheels has made a difference in the employment opportunities for graduates, says Andy Roberts, president of MTI. “They have not just found work. They have found work with good, high-quality, mainstream carriers.” Employers of MTI graduates have included fleets such as Challenger Motor Freight, Trimac Transportation, Bison Transport and Coastal Pacific Xpress, DCT Chambers Trucking and Berry & Smith Trucking. “These graduates are not just getting jobs. They’re beginning careers,” he adds.
MTI’s 100th class of Earning Your Wheels students will complete in-class training on Oct. 1, and is scheduled to graduate in November after completing four weeks of on-the-job training.
Earning Your Wheels graduates earn a National Standard Certificate as a Graduate Professional Entry-level Truck Driver, endorsed by Markel Insurance as having the equivalent of three years over-the-road experience, and endorsed by Old Republic Insurance Company of Canada as having the equivalent of a full year of over-the-road experience.
MTI was founded in 1998 and has seven instructors. It was first accredited by CTHRC in 2003 and has since graduated more than 500 Earning Your Wheels students.
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