Washington Trucking School’s Chehalis branch, located at 181 Ribelin Road, photographed in May.
By Emily Fitzgerald
Washington Trucking School’s Chehalis has been consistently busy since it opened in March 2022.
Like the original branch in Olympia, the school’s Chehalis branch helps aspiring commercial drivers obtain their commercial driver’s license (CDL) and any additional endorsements they need for their next job.
“We try to do everything under the sun when it comes to endorsements,” said assistant manager James Fasano.
The school also offers professional retraining programs for drivers who have experience but have been out of the field for a while, as well as manual restriction removal training for drivers who received a certification limiting them to driving automatic transmission vehicles.
Washington Trucking School can train those drivers on manual vehicles to remove that restriction, which “really opens up the job opportunities and really expands how much you can make,” Fasano said.
Classes start every two weeks with about four students per class. Most of the Chehalis students have jobs lined up before they get their CDL, but students can enroll independently and have the school help facilitate meetings with recruiters.
“We have a group of businesses that we send people to that we know are going to treat them right,” Fasano said, adding,“Generally, when they have a paper CDL in hand, they’re starting within a week.”
He clarified that Washington Trucking School isn’t a funnel school that locks graduates into a contract with a company.
“We do what’s best for the student,” Fasano said.
For more information, visit watruckingschool.com.
From left, Washington Trucking School Assistant Manager James Fasano, instructor Michael Kimbrough and student Jesse Hammond pose for a photo beside one of the school’s trucks in Chehalis in May.