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Second Richland One CDL Student Earns Learner’s Permit

Javarion Canzater Eau Claire High School senior Javarion Canzater is the second student from the Richland One Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Program to earn a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) since the program’s inception in 2019.

When it began, Richland One’s CDL program – established in partnership with the South Carolina Trucking Association – was the first of its kind in the state and third in the nation. Now there are three high school CDL training programs statewide and six nationwide.

Canzater joins Justin Johnson, who graduated in 2020, as the first Richland One CDL Program students to receive their permits. Johnson has since received a diesel mechanic certification, obtained his CDL and gained employment as a mechanic. Canzater has plans to earn his CDL and take it on the road upon graduating.

“I grew up watching people drive trucks, and it’s just something that I like to do,” said Canzater. “It was hard work but I studied, which made it easy. It takes hard work and there is no way around it.”

The CDL program provides students with career information and assists them with developing personal plans to achieve their goals. Students also learn about the skills they need to drive on public roads, personal and professional requirements, and safety. Work-based learning experiences include job shadowing, apprenticeships and other cooperative education opportunities. In the class, students are tested on general knowledge, air brakes and combinations. They must be 18 years or older and hold a valid Class D driver’s license before they can apply for the CLP.

Augustin Wigfall, the CDL instructor/coach at Eau Claire High School where the program is housed, said the level of the program’s success is in its ability to supply qualified students to meet industry demands for CDL holders. He deems Canzater and Johnson to be of the quality needed.

“I am very proud of them because they have gone through a rigorous curriculum of theory and operations to obtain their CLP,” said Wigfall.  

The program’s enrollment has grown from 31 students in 2019 to 45 students this year, and Wigfall said he expects even greater numbers next year.

“We have been successful in educating students from Eau Claire and our desire is to see the program continue to evolve and grow,” he said. “Because of the high demand for quality truck drivers, I believe the program is heading for more students to have an opportunity at trucking.”

For more information about Richland One’s Commercial Driver’s License Program, contact Eau Claire High School at (803) 231-7000 or email augustin.wigfall@richlandone.org.