To kick off the new Pace program, the College of DuPage will host a pre-hire event for job seekers to meet with Pace staff and learn more about the opportunity.  -  Photo: Pace

To kick off the new Pace program, the College of DuPage will host a pre-hire event for job seekers to meet with Pace staff and learn more about the opportunity.

Photo: Pace

Chicago’s Pace Suburban Bus and the College of DuPage have partnered to train the next generation of professional bus operators through a free CDL Class B commercial driver's license permit course.

The new collaboration creates a fast path to employment by helping qualified applicants obtain their CDL permit through a customized two-week program before beginning paid training with Pace. To remove financial barriers for students, Pace will cover the costs of tuition, training, books, fees, and other expenses associated with the program.

"Pace offers rewarding careers and a path to success for people who are passionate about public service. We are excited to partner with the College of DuPage and train the next generation of professional bus operators," said Pace Executive Director Melinda Metzger. "Offering this free course creates a win-win for everyone. Those looking for a new career can access the free instruction they need and start down the path of helping Pace provide the essential transportation service that our region relies on."

Kicking the Partnership Off

To kick off the program, the College of DuPage will host a pre-hire event for job seekers to meet with Pace staff and learn more about the opportunity. During the three-hour event applicants will complete a screening process that includes an application, an assessment questionnaire, and background check paperwork.

Assessment results will be available two to four days after the event, when candidates must complete an Illinois Department of Transportation physical and drug screening. Pace will cover the cost of these screenings. Candidates who pass these screenings will be enrolled in a training course that will take place in early 2024 at the College of DuPage.

The opportunity to obtain free CDL permits will provide jobs and livable wages with minimum pay at Pace starting at $25.30 an hour for operators. Qualified candidates who complete the two-week program will transition to a six-week, paid, on-the-job training with Pace.

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