The City of Covington, Ga. is affording employees the opportunity to acquire their commercial driver’s license through a recently launched program.
Employees who work in a department that utilizes vehicles requiring a commercial driver’s license are eligible to earn a license, provided it will enhance their ability to perform the duties of their job.
Five employees are currently enrolled in the program and one person has completed it, earning their license. Larry Baines was the first to earn his commercial license and is excited about the opportunity to advance his career in the sanitation department.
“There aren’t a lot of companies out there willing to invest in their employees like this,” Baines said. “I am very appreciative of the new opportunities this license has offered me.”
Because he earned his CDL, Baines is now driving a sanitation truck advancing himself within the department.
“Offering training to our current employees gives them the opportunity to advance to different positions,” said Tammie Lovering, Safety Risk Manager for the City. “Training current employees for new jobs is an effective way to motivate employees and encourage their betterment. Seeing Larry’s willingness to give his time to learn a new skill makes continued training an asset for him as well as the city.”
City employee Anderson Bailey, a former Department of Driver Services employee, meets with candidates on Saturdays and primes them for their CDL test. The rigorous training typically takes 12 months to complete.
“It is so gratifying knowing I help people achieve something that plays such an important role in their life,” Bailey remarked. “I’m very proud of the people that are in the process of getting their CDL. It can change their life for the better and open a lot of doors.”
Baines admits he had some motivation from City Manager, Leigh Anne Knight, Deputy City Manager Billy Bouchillon and his coworkers, but his biggest motivation is brand new.
“I just welcomed a new baby girl at home and that was some real motivation to get my CDL,” Baines said. “This opportunity comes at a great time and will help make a better life for my family. I can’t thank the city and especially Anderson Bailey enough. This is a life-changing experience for my family and myself.”
Knight is thankful there is a program that helps the city by adding to an employee’s skill set while enhancing their lives away from work.
“We want to give our workforce every chance possible to advance their career with us,” said City Manager Leigh Anne Knight. “Being able to give employees the opportunity to enhance their résumé so we can promote from within is a winning situation for everyone.”