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What is Transportation?

Are you looking for to build a career that allows you to solve problems by working with your hands and innovative technology? Then you have a future in the transportation industry. It’s already moving into the future with evolving technology and state-of-the-art equipment, which you can find at CLTCC. The school keeps you up to date with training on equipment that utilizes virtual reality technology to teach automotive body painting or truck driving. And with a projected 5-percent job growth, the opportunities to start your career are there, even right here in Cenla. From driving a big rig to rebuilding engines, the transportation industry is looking for skilled workers.

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About Our Program?

At CLTCC, transportation includes four programs – Certified Driver’s License, automotive technology, collision repair and outdoor power equipment. CDL and collision repair are taught at the Alexandria Main Campus. Outdoor power equipment and automotive technology are taught at the Lamar Salter Campus in Leesville.

There is an exit point that could lead to a job at the completion of each semester in these programs. The first semester students get a TCA, or technical competency in area. You can earn more the longer you stay and more semesters you complete. Usually within the first semester students can be placed in the workplace for on-the-job training for part of the day. After two semesters students have earned a technical certificate, which shows students are proficient. For every certificate achieved, employees generally see a raise of 50 cents to $1 an hour. In two years students can earn a technical diploma in outdoor power equipment, automotive technology and collision repair. Automotive technology is CLTCC’s only transportation program set to advance to an associate’s.

EDUCATION PATHWAY

  • CDL

    In CDL, students earn a Certified Driver’s License and the opportunity to work in just about any industry. The CDL course is 240 hours, usually completed in six weeks. Students train on a state-of-the-art, new $105,000 L3 Driver Training Solutions simulator at first. After the third or fourth week, students begin driving a real truck. The program is taught at the Alexandria Main Campus.
  • Outdoor Power Equipment

    The outdoor power equipment program at the Lamar Salter Campus in Leesville teaches students to repair anything from weedeaters to motorcycles and power sports equipment. The program falls under the accrediting body Equipment and Engine Training Council and covers a wide variety. That’s important in preparing students for the unexpected because you never know what’s going to be brought in to be repaired when on the job.    
  • Automotive Technology

    Automotive technology teaches students to go internal with repairs to a vehicle’s engine, gear boxes, differentials and more. The program is offered at the Lamar Salter Campus in Leesville.
  • Collision Repair

    In collision repair students learn to do general troubleshooting and repairs to vehicles, generally sticking to the outside of the car rather than internal like automotive technology. The programs are similar but differ in that way. A collision tech can pull or put an engine. An automotive tech can tear down and repair an engine. The program is offered in Alexandria.

OUR HANDS ON TRAINING FACILITY

Instructors work with employers in the Central Louisiana region to place students in the field for hands-on, on-the-job training usually within the first semester of a program. Many work in a cooperative program, working half a day and going to school the other half. Employers report back to instructors about students’ progress as students hone their skills while also learning in the classroom. The classrooms are pretty hands-on themselves. By utilizing state-of-the-art virtual reality technology students learn to paint cars and drive 18-wheelers in a safe environment that’s better for the students and the world around them.

JOB OPPORTUNITIES

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics puts job growth for most transportation fields at 5 percent, so there will be jobs for a long time. Here’s a look at what graduates can make, according to 2015 median pay statistics.

Truck drivers make about $40,260 per year or $19.36 per hour. An automotive tech or mechanic makes $37,850 per year or $18.20 per hour. Outdoor power equipment repair techs make $32,710 a year or $15.72 an hour with the top techs making more than $50,000. Collision repair techs have an annual salary of $39,590 or $17.66 an hour.

There’s a lot of variety in the field of automotive service, which translates to a lot of opportunity. Jobs begin with disassembler, which means you tear down vehicles to get to the problem. Other jobs in a shop include body man, who straightens panels, welds and does fillings, to name a few duties; a frame technician that repairs and welds frame rails; a prep hand; and finisher or coater, who paints vehicles. And there’s a lot you can do with a CDL, from driving students to school and football games to hauling material to construction sites. There’s something for everyone, whether you want to be in or outside the vehicle.

STUDENT TESTIMONIALS

"I really came to try something new. I really love working with cars. It came natural for me. I was born for it. I fell in love with it actually. Everything you need to know for the real world is right here."
- KEVIN SARPY, 18
Collision repair student from Natchitoches
"What interests me is the actual refining portion of it. There’s a lot to know about painting and refinishing. If you like math, geometry, if you’re interested in angles and measurements, you’ll have a natural interest in stuff like this."
- RON STRIETZEL, 50
Retiree from DeRidder in collision repair

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