CDL Program Provides New Opportunities for Student

March 12, 2024 sdawkins Blog

Misha Ware, left, with Alex Blevins at her graduation from the CDL Training program.Misha Ware was 42 years old and in need of a new career path when she enrolled at Jefferson State. Today, just months after making the decision to pursue a long-held interest in truck driving, Ware is on the road to success—and does not hesitate to encourage others to do the same.

“My advice is, whatever you’re told you can’t do, what you’re too old to do, what is impossible to do, do it anyway,” Ware said. “Whether you are a single mother or single father, wherever you’re at, just go for it. Jeff State will do everything they can to see you succeed.”

A Birmingham native, Ware worked for years in retail before driving as a medical courier. A wreck sidelined Ware for months, as she could barely walk after the incident and needed physical therapy to get back to work.

During this time, she began thinking about earning a Commercial Drivers License and pursuing other opportunities.

“A long time ago, I said that I wanted to drive trucks,” Ware said. “I was like, ‘If I can drive cars all day, I can drive a truck.’ I just wanted to be able to provide for my family.”

But even Ware’s doctor was skeptical that she would be able to handle the physical demands after multiple knee replacement surgeries.

Ware learned about Jefferson State’s CDL training program through a food assistance office and started the program in June 2023.

After talking with Workforce Education Training Coordinator Alex Blevins and Career Coach Deborah Foster, Ware had no reservations about starting her higher education journey.

“They made you feel so welcome, and if there was anything that was needed, you knew you could go to them,” she said. “My very first day in class, we all became a family.”

Ware graduated on Aug. 10, 2023, 10 days before her 43rd birthday, also completing the HazMat training add-on for CDL through the Skills for Success program.

She accepted a job with AmWaste, but Ware is still working to improve her skills, as she is currently enrolled in Jefferson State’s Heavy Equipment Operator program.

“I’ve been trying to get the word out and tell people these are great opportunities,” Ware said. “You just have to put in the time.”