PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Gulf Coast State College and Bay County have struck a deal that will help meet the need for truck drivers.

The college will allow Bay County to use the North Bay campus driving range to help train people for commercial driver’s licenses (CDL).

Bay County Chamber of Commerce officials approached the college in November to coordinate the program.

The county used to handle CDL training in-house, but new legislation made testing parameters more stringent.

Residents are traveling as far as Orlando to get the training needed for a commercial license. 

“There is a big need in Bay County for CDL licenses and we felt it was an obligation to be a community partner because it’s not only Bay County, it’s all the municipalities,” Gulf Coast State College Trustee Frank Hall said.  

The college is not charging the county to use the facility, with the stipulation that they will repave as needed.