POCONO TOWNSHIP -- A community college in the Poconos is offering free commercial truck driving classes to veterans and their families at Northampton Community College Monroe campus near Tannersville.
The free job training course for veterans and their families was made possible by a grant from the United States Department of Transportation.
Mark Kelly from Kunkletown has been spending the last few weeks at Northampton Community College near Tannersville learning how to drive a big rig.
Because his father is a veteran, his tuition came at no cost. It's all part of a free job training program for veterans and their families being offered at the college.
"You drive a lot. First couple of weeks was in class, then you come down to the range and start driving every day and practice some skills," Kelly said.
An almost $140,000 grant from the United State Department of Transportation has allowed the community college to offer free commercial truck driver training to current and former members of the military, National Guard, and Reserves.
The grant covers full tuition which is usually $4,200.
"This is awesome that we can help them and get them trained and out into the work world making a livable wage," driver training director Tina Frindt said.
For the first time this year, the program is opened to adult children of veterans. At Northampton Community College, about 10 students have already signed up.
Day classes run five days a week for six weeks. Night classes run six days a week for eight weeks.
"It's great," said Kelly. "You get a new start and established after you've done a service."
"I think one of the things we hadn't done for a long time was take care of our veterans, and through this grant, we can do that and for 40 individuals which is awesome," Frindt added.
There are still 30 open spaces available.
However, the program is only open to those military families who live in certain counties.