Tobacco settlement fund grant to expand COA truck driver training program

[courtesy @coa_dolphins/Twitter]

College of The Albemarle’s Truck Driver Training Program will soon have new equipment and an additional instructor. Funding provided by the Golden LEAF Foundation, in the amount of $132,500, will help purchase new equipment to expand the program to meet local employer demands.

The Golden LEAF Foundation was established in 1999 to administer a portion of the tobacco settlement agreement monies back into North Carolina’s rural and economically distressed communities.

“The Golden LEAF Foundation is pleased to be a partner to College of The Albemarle in growing its capacity for training licensed truck drivers,” said Scott T. Hamilton, Golden LEAF President, Chief Executive Officer. “Supporting the long-term economic success of North Carolina, especially rural communities, is the core mission of the Golden LEAF Foundation. This project will help grow the pool of
qualified workers for high-demand jobs in the region.”

COA submitted an application in April with the project entitled, “LICENSED TO DRIVE.” The project was developed to specifically to meet the needs for approximately 758 licensed truck drivers in the seven-county region.

“We are extremely excited about and thankful to Golden LEAF for the opportunities and expansion these funds will allow us to achieve for our recently launched Truck Driver Training program,” said Robin Zinsmeister, Dean, Workforce Development, Public Services and Career Readiness; Campus Administrator, COA – Edenton-Chowan. “As we approach the one-year anniversary of our program, the addition of several pieces of training equipment will have such a positive impact on the number of students we are able to train.”

Equipment to be purchased will include two 2012 or newer tractor trailer trucks (sleeper cabins), two 2012 or newer single axle/day cab tractor trailer trucks, two pup trailers, and four mobile lighting units. The grant will also partially fund the salary and benefits for a full-time instructor.

The support that the Golden LEAF Foundation is providing will allow the college to increase enrollment from 30 to approximately 72 students annually to address employer needs in the seven-county service area. The closest training is more than 60 miles away.
For more information about COA’s Truck Driver Training program, visit