Driving a new career path

Commercial Driver’s License Training Academy Celebrates its First Graduate
Posted on Category General, Opportunities

Community Action Marin is offering free training to help people obtain a commercial driver’s license. The program is operated in partnership with Vivalon, a non-profit serving seniors and people with disabilities in Marin.  

Together, the non-profit partners are providing a first-of-its-kind opportunity for people in Marin County to benefit from bundled services aimed at supporting living-wage careers and increased well-being. The Academy’s goal is to provide training to low-income people who are seeking opportunities for a career as a professional, trained, and licensed commercial driver.  

By getting trained at the Academy, drivers who graduate may earn paid driver staff positions at Vivalon Rides or other local companies. Such is the case with the program’s first graduate, Homayoon Adbullah, who although offered a position with Vivalon, “did decline in order to seek employment closer to home”,  explained Mark Haberstroh, Safety Manager at Vivalon.

Homayoon had been driving regularly with Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash, since he immigrated to the U.S. in 2019, but wanted to get his Class C commercial driver’s license when he came across our program. 

“I’ve worked hard delivering food, but wanted to find another job as a truck driver that has regular work and better pay,” said Homayoon. “My goal was to work for one year as a truck driver for a company, and then eventually buy my own truck and be self-employed. I want to earn more money and be able to spend more time with my family.” 

Homayoon said the Commercial Driver’s License Training Academy had a wonderful team of teachers. He learned how to share the road, about being a good driver, feeling confident at the wheel, and understanding the laws of the road that pertain to commercial trucks.  

“They teach you all the best things about the road, especially how to be a good, safe driver. I started out knowing very little about traffic laws, but now I feel very confident. I’m excited to begin my commercial truck driving career working for a company in the U.S.” 

The Academy provides a combination of in-class and field training to help participants successfully pass DMV written exams and behind-the-wheel field tests. It also provides CPR and First Aid certification and job placement assistance. 

There is a pressing need for vehicle operators across Marin. “We know there’s a driver shortage in our community,” said Heather Bettini, Economic Justice Director at Community Action Marin. “We know there are people who are looking for jobs and want to potentially start a new career pathway. This project is a great way to meet both of those needs.” 

“We’re thrilled to partner with Community Action Marin, an organization with a rich history of assisting underserved communities,” said Anne Grey, Vivalon CEO. “Together we have created an innovative driver training academy that addresses Marin’s driver shortage, while also helping graduates find reliable paid jobs.” 

Congratulations to Homayoon for his successful completion of the program and on his new job and exciting career path! 

Those interested in the Commercial Driver’s License Training Academy can visit Community Action Marin’s website or email driveracademy@camarin.org to learn more and apply.