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Stark State swaps land for tuition for Akron employees

Posted at 4:44 PM, Jul 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-24 18:01:50-04

AKRON — Stark State College agreed to lease property from the city of Akron to build a training program to train people wanting a commercial driver's license, or CDL.

Stark State President, Para Jones, said there is a shortage of CDL-qualified operators and drivers in the area, despite the huge need. While the college already had a CDL program, the current lot was not enough to certify enough students and support the demand.

"Northeast Ohio and Akron is a place where we move things. Akron has been the center of the trucking industry for a long time," Jones said.

To combat the problem, Akron and the college approved a lease-purchase agreement for a six-acre property near Massillion Road during the July 22 city council meeting.

"When we started talking to actual companies, like Jay rail and Akron, and we started hearing the demand from the employer perspective, we knew we had to do this program as soon as possible," Jones said.

The college will pay $25,000 per acre for six years, then it will transfer from the city to the college. The lease and purchase payments will be made through course credits given to city employees.

With the program, city employees can also take a class in any program, not just CDL, as long as there are open spots.

The new training facility located at 2270 Picton Parkway is expected to open in the fall.