City Partners with Bismarck State College for CDL Program

Earlier this year, the City of Mandan partnered with Bismarck State College (BSC) TrainND for the use of a semi-truck for the Class A commercial driver’s license (CDL) training program.

The semi-truck being used is a 2009 International 8600, mostly used in the fall to haul biosolids from the waste water treatment facility.

“We currently have five equipment operators needing to obtain their CDL,” says Public Works Director Mitch Bitz, “so this collaboration with BSC is proving to be very valuable to the City.”

The program offers training for a Class A CDL required to operate any truck over 26,001 pounds and pulling a trailer. A Class B CDL is for a heavy straight vehicle weighing 26,001 pounds or more. To obtain a Class A license or upgrade from a regular drivers license to a Class B, an individual must complete a Federal Motor Carriers Safety Association certified training program with a grade of 80% or higher and pass the NDDOT road test geared to these higher standards. The BSC TrainND program does offer the hazardous material endorsement as well.

The program is designed so that a certified instructor is with the trainee at all times while the vehicle is in operation.

While Public Works equipment operators only need a Class B CDL, BSC only offers the program for Class A, so the operators are getting a better deal through the partnership.

The City and BSC are working on another lease of the semi-truck for the winter months. In the summer, BSC paid the City for use of the truck and provided a spot in the training program.

This partnership allows BSC to accelerate growth and capacity of the program, which is vital to workforce development in North Dakota. BSC is currently in the process of purchasing a truck and simulators for the program through a grant.

Additional information on the CDL program through BSC TrainND and Workforce Training is available at bismarckstate.edu/drive.