Driver training pad to be unveiled for those seeking commercial licenses

Trucks will start rolling into Ocala on Friday, Jan. 10 at a new driver training pad as part of a commercial driver’s license program offered by Marion County Public Schools.

The event, which will start at 10 a.m. at Booster Stadium (2900 NE 36th Ave. in Ocala), is free and open to the public. A ribbon cutting and delivery truck display area also will mark the celebration.

The CDL program, offered through Marion Technical College, will train adults age 18 and older on the rules of the road, eventually helping them earn a license for commercial driving. The new training pad offers students a safe and dedicated area to drive and park large trucks. Started two years ago, the CDL program has so far graduated eight student classes.

The new driving pad was made possible in large part by $300,000 in Marion County School Board funding and $75,000 in donations from private enterprises including R+L Carriers, Capris Furniture, CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion, College of Central Florida, Mid-Florida Regional Manufacturers Association and the Ocala/Marion County Chamber and Economic Partnership (CEP).