With the trucking industry booming, Action Career Training opened a new location in Killeen to expand truck-driving courses to area residents, especially those leaving the Army.

Before relocating the center to 400 W. Central Texas Expressway in May, ACT classes were held at Central Texas College since 1992.

“We wanted to be in Killeen because of the training and being able to work with the military,” said Brenda McNair, the company’s director. “We’ve recently started working a whole lot more with military personnel, so we opened our own location, so we would have a good training facility right in the city.”

Training involves a four-week session, Monday through Friday, with one week of classroom training, one week of “on the driving range” training, where students learn different maneuvers and parallel parking, and two weeks “on the road” training on public roads.

New classes begin every two weeks throughout the year.

The admission fee is $5,995 but if paid in cash students will receive a $1,500 discount.

“We do have a lot of entities that can help them get funding for their training if they qualify, including the Texas Workforce Commission and Department of Rehabilitative Services,” McNair said.

ACT is approved by Veterans Affairs, so students can apply for assistance through the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

McNair said the trucking industry is lucrative in the United States.

“Everything you eat, drink, wear, sleep or walk on is delivered by a truck, and it’s never going to be replaced,” she said. “Everything in the United States moves with truck lines.”

Killeen center students have a 100 percent success rate of finding employment after course graduation, McNair said.

Nearly 15 percent of students are women, an increase over previous years.

“It’s always been a male-dominated occupation, but it’s not really anymore because companies want women,” she said.

McNair agrees there is a stigma surrounding women in the industry where safety is concerned, but she said improvements in the system during the last 20 years helped establish a higher female presence.

“One thing I want people to know about trucking is the advantages, not only it being a demand occupation but the pay is excellent,” McNair said.

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