Driving Force of Jones County
For the second time in over a year, Sanderson Farms donated a commercial tractor-trailer to Jones County Junior College’s Commercial Truck Driving Program in Ellisville, Mississippi. A 2008 International Pro Star tractor-trailer, complete with poultry cages for student loading and unloading, was recently delivered along with the title to college officials.
“We are very grateful to Sanderson Farms for being aware of the needs of the community,” said Dr. Jesse Smith, President of Jones County Junior College. “This partnership will provide quality training and great opportunities for our students to have a career at Sanderson Farms and the many other trucking companies in need of drivers.”
In 2015, Sanderson Farms donated a 2002 International 9200 sleeper truck, a 1995 Clark live haul trailer, a 2003 International 9200 feed tractor and a 2004 Ledwell feed trailer to JCJC’s Commercial Truck Driving Program. The most recent donation is valued at $26,800, but Sanderson Farms’ Corporate Fleet Manager, Kevin Butler, anticipates the donation will be a profitable investment benefiting both the college and the company.
“We would like to continue to hire quality drivers and we look forward to the future partnership as we grow and the JCJC Commercial Truck Driving program continues to grow as well,” said Butler. “Having the cages to practice loading and unloading will provide another component of training that not all programs can offer. At Sanderson Farms, we want drivers to be able to bind the cages, have knowledge of hauling a live load, as well as understand how to avoid being top-heavy and how the truck handles in different weather conditions.”
JCJC’s commercial truck driving class begins every seven weeks at the Ellisville campus, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. with students receiving comprehensive training and a certificate upon completion. Workforce development courses are also available at the college’s centers in Greene and Wayne counties and are designed for non-traditional students. Non-credit workforce development courses are an opportunity for the working population to improve their skills and are typically offered in the evenings and on weekends.
“I see this gift as a big benefit for JCJC because there is a big demand for good truck drivers with experience,” said Billy Miller, JCJC Commercial Truck Driving Instructor. “Every one of our students has a job upon completion if they are willing to work. If they pass, they get their Class ‘A’ CDL. They also get a certificate from the truck driving program and a certificate from JCJC.”