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Perdue Farms, Wor-Wic Community College partner to ease truck driver shortage

Rich Hernandez, vice president of transportation and warehousing at Perdue Farms, checks out the mobile driving simulator at Wor-Wic Community College in Salisbury as college President Ray Hoy looks on. Perdue awarded the college a $120,000 Perdue Foundation grant to purchase a new driving simulator for students in the commercial driver’s license program. (Submitted photo)

Perdue Farms and Wor-Wic Community College, both based in Salisbury, are working to ensure that residents of Maryland’s Lower Eastern Shore can take advantage of the growing job market and work to ease transport and supply chain issues.

Through its charitable giving arm, the Franklin P. and Arthur W. Perdue Foundation, Perdue Farms has pledged $120,000 to fund a new simulation lab for students in the commercial driver’s license (CDL) course at Wor-Wic.

The lab will be part of the college’s new Patricia and Alan Guerrieri Technology Center, which is currently under construction and scheduled to open in 2023. The center’s CDL simulation lab will allow students to experience the controls and feel of being in a big rig, under all kinds of weather and road conditions, even before they get behind the wheel of one of Wor-Wic’s real training vehicles.

Perdue’s funding aligns with its Delivering Hope To Our Neighbors® initiative focused on improving quality of life and building stronger communities where its associates live and work and beyond.

Wor-Wic offers CDL training programs that lead to both class A and class B licenses for commercial driving, and currently instructs 70 to 105 commercial drivers every year.

The CDL simulation lab builds on the success of Wor-Wic’s current simulator, which is housed in a mobile classroom. It vividly recreates the visuals and sensation of driving an 18-wheeler, with variable weather, terrain and the variety of transmissions used in commercial trucks.