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After 48 years, trucker training school suspends operations, citing pandemic unemployment benefits as cause


An Ohio truck driver training school will be discontinuing services after nearly 50 years due to struggles associated with the COVID-19 crisis, company leaders say.

The TDDS Technical Institute based in Lake Milton, Ohio, will be shuttering training operations for student truck drivers and diesel mechanics, the company announced on Friday in a letter sent to students and staff.

In the letter, company CEO and owner Rick Rathburn pointed to the increased unemployment benefits offered due to the pandemic as a major reason for the closure.

“Most of our target student population found comfort in the enhanced unemployment compensation opportunity and have taken advantage of that benefit versus an educational path afforded to those in need of a well-paying career in the transportation industry,” Rathburn writes.

Rathburn also pointed to low revenue, staffing problems, an increase in cost of day-to-day operations, and months of delays to the federal financial aid assistance renewal process as additional reasons for the school closure.

WKBN reports that the school will be up for sale, but if owners are unable to find a buyer, they will instead sell off the equipment and property.

The TDDS Technical Institute has been in operation since 1973.


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