Virginia Beach Waste Management Sees Success with First of Its Kind CDL Apprenticeship Program

Monday, April 19, 2021

A grassroots effort to fill the crippling vacancies for qualified Waste Management operators has seen success for the second consecutive year. The City of Virginia Beach Public Works Waste Management and Tidewater Community College (TCC) Job Skills Training Program congratulated their second class of graduates in earning their Commercial Driver License (CDL) through the City's department Apprenticeship Program.

TCC provided "soft skills" training such as conflict resolution, work ethics, and character building while Waste Management provided the training apprentices needed to first obtain both General Knowledge and Air Brake CDL permits (basically a learner's permit for heavy equipment). Behind-the-wheel training and additional knowledge training was then conducted to ensure proficiency and prepare for the actual CDL test. 100% of the apprentices that completed the two-month program obtained their CDL and are being hired as full-time Waste Management Operator II's. CDL driving test evaluators were very impressed with the skill and depth of knowledge demonstrated by the apprentices. 

The training is a huge career benefit for the apprentices, provides much needed operators to fill departmental vacancies for the Waste Management Division, and demonstrates the value of TCC's Job Skills Training program.  Waste Management instructors, David Tennent and Hunter Beagle, have been instrumental in the development of this program and in the training of those drivers.

"Our residents have felt the impact of the severe driver shortage in our region," says David Tennant, Instructor for Waste Management's CDL Apprenticeship Program. "Qualified CDL drivers are harder to find, especially ones who are willing to work in the waste industry. By training those who want to earn their CDL license, we are providing them with a lifelong skill as well as employment with the City of Virginia Beach. We are also ensuring that we have qualified drivers operating in our communities and servicing our residents."

Waste Management's next Apprenticeship Class begins in June. 

If you have any questions you may call (757) 385-4650, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or visit www.vbgov.com/wastemgt.

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