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Steuben County unveils innovative CDL training program for public works employees

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  • Staff Report 

In a bid to elevate its Public Works workforce and comply with federal standards for commercial motor vehicle drivers, Steuben County has rolled out an avant-garde Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) training program.

“This program signifies our unwavering commitment to fostering employee success,” remarked County Public Works Commissioner Eric Rose. Tailored specifically for county staff, this initiative addresses the mounting concerns of escalating training expenses and the inconvenience of long commutes to far-flung training venues.

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The program, which received the county Legislature’s endorsement on Monday, has been in the pipeline for over two years. Rose credited Heavy Motor Equipment Operator Devin Gwinner for spearheading the hands-on driving component of the training. Gwinner’s adept mentorship resulted in eight employees enhancing or obtaining their licenses in the program’s preliminary phase. Furthering this initiative, Gwinner collaborated with Deputy Commissioner Todd Housel, culminating in federal Training Provider Registry certification. Consequently, the revamped system not only serves the employees but also amplifies the county’s workforce development’s efficacy and economic viability.

Steuben Public Works seamlessly incorporates the mandatory classroom instruction and practical driving sessions by intertwining permit-holders’ drive time with their work schedules. “Permit holders can now simultaneously cater to their county duties and work towards their CDL licenses,” explained Rose. The program is currently grooming five county employees and a couple of municipal drivers. Anticipating an annual certification of 8-10 individuals, Rose also spotlighted a budding partnership with Alfred State College to widen the horizons of the CDL program. Drawing from his personal experience of securing a CDL, Rose empathized with the workforce’s dedication and underscored the program’s role in nurturing the contemporary workforce’s potential.