Western Nevada grad earns CDL, finds career

Jacob Reeves earned his commercial driver’s license after enrolling in Western Nevada College’s four-week training program.

Jacob Reeves earned his commercial driver’s license after enrolling in Western Nevada College’s four-week training program.

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Jacob Reeves has fond memories of riding in a livestock truck with his dad as a youngster, so when the opportunity to pursue his commercial driver’s license at Western Nevada College presented itself, it was an opportunity he couldn’t refuse.
He’d looked at trucking schools before, but the cost and schedule made accessing these programs nearly impossible.
“I couldn’t afford to be out of work for a whole month to go to trucking school,” he said, “so when I saw that WNC had a program with a more flexible schedule, the opportunity was too good to pass up.”
Reeves said the William N. Pennington Career and Technical Education Scholarship, which covered the cost of his tuition, was the final piece of the puzzle that meant he could earn his CDL without breaking the bank.
And it came at the perfect time.
Reeves was ready for more than just a job — he liked what he did but needed a career that would help him provide for the family he hopes to have. He knew a CDL would give him the leg up he needed to establish a career out of something he learned to love as a youngster — driving big rigs.
Because he’d been around large trucks for much of his life, Reeves said, “I thought I had it in the bag,” so he was glad to have the support of instructor Sam Yesuratnam when he found some of the skills to be more challenging than he’d anticipated.
“It was harder than I expected,” he said, “but Sam did a good job of explaining the safety reasons behind why we were doing everything.”
The four-week training program covers everything students need to know to land a position in the transportation industry, ensuring access to a high-demand career with family-sustaining wages.
“The students who complete our program are, without a doubt, the most highly-trained and conscientious new professionals in the area,” Yesuratnam said.
Once Reeves graduated from the program and earned his license, he became an indispensable part of the team at B&R Auto Wrecking; his added skills and expertise meant that the company was able to, as Reeves put it, “really take towing to the next step,” including adding new trucks to their fleet and hiring several additional drivers.
In fact, Reeves became so valuable to B&R that when he was offered another job, B&R matched the salary and benefits he was offered — an ideal situation, as far as Reeves was concerned.
“I didn’t want to leave the company I was at, but I needed a career,” Reeves said.
Now, he has the best of both worlds.
“Once you get to start really driving the truck, it’s so much fun,” he said. “I love my job. I love all the faces I get to see every day.”
The program is accepting students. For information, call 775-445-4210, visit www.wnc.edu/commercialdrivers or email conted@wnc.edu


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