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Bridge CU ships financial help to trucking students
COLUMBUS, Ohio (3/18/14)--An Ohio-based credit union has partnered with a driving trade school to offer loans to students looking for certification as truck drivers.  

Together, Bridge CU, Columbus, Ohio, with $45 million in assets, and Roadmaster Drivers School of Ohio Inc. are able to fill two needs: To help prospective drivers pay for training, and to inject more employees into an industry hurting for manpower.  

"Companies are always telling us about their needs; they have driver spots that need filled," Jeff Whittington, Roadmaster school director, told the Columbus Chamber of Commerce. "This program will help us to place more students in those roles by offering the extra financial support they need."

Out of 5 million jobs in Ohio, more than 366,000 fall into the category of material moving, according to an article by Columbus Business First . By far in the Buckeye State, heavy- or tractor-truck drivers were the most advertised job postings as of August 2013.  

About 10% of the students enrolled at the driving school, or about 50 to 60 individuals, will use the Bridge financing this year. More than 70 people have already financed their training through Bridge since October, when the program was rolled out ( Columbus Business First March 14).

The cost of training at the school runs around $6,495, which covers about 160 hours of on-road and classroom work. Rates have been as low as 11.65% for students who've received financing thus far.

Bridge, formerly State Transportation Employees CU, has about 7,800 members.
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