Akron was expecting a big response to its free, commercial driver license training program.
But maybe not quite this big.
The city received 815 applications for the 48 coveted spots in the program, which is aimed at creating a pool of local truck drivers for Akron’s mammoth sewer overhaul project.
“I think we knew it would be well received,” said Deputy Public Service Director Phil Montgomery. “At the end of the day, 815 is quite a bit. We are happy people want to better themselves.”
The deadline for the applications was the close of business Tuesday.
Akron plans to put on two training programs with 24 students each. The first training program is expected to start in November. The start date for the second program hasn’t yet been decided.
The city will chose the first class of students through a lottery after weeding out those who are ineligible, such as those with a suspended license, too many points on their licenses or who live outside the city. The drawing will likely be Friday or Monday. The second class will also be chosen through a random draw when the second training is scheduled, Montgomery said.
“The only fair way to do it is completely random,” Montgomery said.
Akron has created a new position in the Public Service Department — Combined Sewer Overflow Equipment Operators — who will work on the sewer project. The first task will be the construction of a $200 million tunnel that will be built for the sewer project.
Akron City Council approved $25,000 as seed money for the training program and is looking for other resources to help defray the expense. The cost is about $2,000 per student, Montgomery said.
The city is still finalizing details with the trainer who will be running the program, Montgomery said.