National organization recertifies Bates program

Monday, January 30

TACOMA, Wash. - This month, the Professional Truck Driver Institute granted Bates Technical College's Commercial Truck Driving-Entry Level program recertification.

PTDI certification, valid for five years, means the career education program meets or exceeds industry standards. The certification also helps ensure graduates are adequately qualified to safely handle the demands of the truck driving profession.

William Balcom, program manager for the Washington State Patrol's Commercial Vehicle Division, said, "Students who complete the truck driving course from Bates Technical College are well taught and prepared drivers," he said. "The course sets the standard and exceeds state training requirements in order for a new truck driver to receive his/her commercial driver's license."

PTDI has strict safety standards that training programs must meet and maintain. The standards incorporate Federal Highway Administration guidelines.

Balcom, who also serves on the truck driving program's advisory committee, noted that this recertification makes it less likely that Bates graduates would be "involved in commercial vehicle collisions on our state's highways."

Initially certified in 1999, Bates' two-quarter program remains the only one in the state that is PTDI certified.

For more information about the Commercial Truck Driving-Entry Level career education program, please contact Career Advisor Jim Field, 253.680.7410,

About Professional Truck Driving Institute
PTDI is a national, nonprofit organization established for two purposes: 1) to develop uniform industry skill, curriculum and certification standards for entry-level truck driver training and motor carrier driver finishing programs, and 2) to certify entry-level truck driver training courses at public and private schools and driver finishing programs at carriers for compliance with PTDI standards.

About Bates Technical College
Celebrating more than 70 years, Bates Technical College offers certificate and degree opportunities in 53 career education programs, and serves approximately 3,000 career training students and 10,000 more community members annually in extended learning, distance learning, high school, and other programs. For more information, go to, or call 253.680.7000.

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