Driving school

Upcoming Truck Driving School at SCC Laurel Campus; Driving Christmas Light Show at Camp Feltner 4-H | Local news

A new event receives funding from the London Tourism Commission for a Christmas celebration as a new truck driving program arrives at Somerset Community College’s Laurel campus.

Paula Thompson, executive director of the London-Laurel Economic Development Authority, spoke about a new program for truck drivers through Somerset Community College.

“Existing businesses continue to grow and need workers, but when you come across skilled workers like Class A drivers, that’s pretty much everything that provides everything – from restaurants to factories to retail stores. They are our lifeline, ”she said. “One thing we don’t have – there’s a private truck driving school, but the college doesn’t have a truck driving program. But they agreed to expand it to London.”

It was at this point that Thompson approached the idea of ​​allowing the college to use the front portion of the fairground property – which is under the supervision of the city’s tourism commission – as an area of. training for drivers.

Carey Castle, president and CEO of Somerset Community College, said the truck driving program offered in Somerset would be duplicated in London. The college has partnered with the Somerset Economic Development Council on its program, with Director of Workforce Development Alyssa Johnson describing the program.

Johnson said the program will run Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and could be completed in four to five weeks. Those who complete the program would receive a certificate that would also credit them for six hours of college credit. Johnson and Laurel campus director Travis McQueen said the college will work with the tourism commission on any planned events that may interfere with use of the fairgrounds. However, Thompson and CSC officials have all said the fairground will be a temporary location until the college finds property to purchase for the program.

Commissioner Phil Smith asked if the large trucks would damage fairground property, with Castle saying the college would repair or replace any damage suffered. After some discussion, council members voted unanimously to allow use of the property.

Kevin Pettigrew, director of Feltner 4-H Camp, addressed the board regarding sponsorship of a Christmas drive-thru tour this year called Winter WonderCamp. The Christmas Lights Tour will coincide with the lights around London, starting on December 4 but ending on December 23 so employees can have a vacation.

Pettigrew gave a brief history of the camp’s 60 years in the community, adding that the summer camps welcome families from across the state each summer. He said 95% of those attending the camps were outside of Laurel County. He then described the plans for the drive-thru illuminated display, stating that the main sponsor of the event had stepped down, leaving the camp to hold the bag for decorations to be used on the drive-through tour.

The car tour would take around 10 to 15 minutes and would include a gingerbread village. Pettigrew said the tour would be free but donations would be accepted.

Commissioners Phil Smith and Kelly Greene said they had heard of the dilemma the camp faced after the decorations were ordered and the main sponsor withdrawn from financial support. Smith added that the Feltner 4-H Camp hosted around 3,000 campers in 2019 and hosted a number of events.

“It was actually supposed to be a fundraiser for them to give scholarships and now with the sponsorship failure they will have to dip into their scholarship fund,” he said. “It is a 365 days a year entity in our community that organizes a large number of events.”

Smith then suggested that the commission fund half of the event’s expenses – $ 9,000 with billing as the title sponsor.

Greene intervened, adding that the decorations had already been ordered and that Camp 4-H was locked into a contract with this supplier. Pettigrew said the decorations were leased but the contract had already been signed when the sponsor pulled the funding.

Board members approved funding of $ 9,000 for this event which will attract visitors from other communities.

Tourism director Chris Robinson also briefed the board members on upcoming events. The lighting of the Christmas tree in the city center is scheduled for Tuesday, November 30 at 7:30 p.m. Robinson said the global event would start around 5:30 p.m. that evening,

The lighting of the tree is the preamble to the annual Christmas Parade on Randy Smith’s Main Street, which takes place on Friday, December 3. There have already been 38 organizations registered for the parade. Lights Around London is scheduled for December 4-31, with 52 sites already registered to participate.

The New Years Eve party in downtown London will resume this year, with a section of Main Street being blocked off for the event.

Mackey Williams, director of parks, said there had been good attendance at local events, including Boo on Main, which was moved to Farmers Market due to heavy rains. The city hosted a disc golf tournament on November 6, which also drew tourists to the area.

While construction of pickleball courts is set up at Whitley Branch Veterans Park, construction of two shelters is 90% complete, Williams added.

As the transition for city tourism to become SPGE compliant continues, board members have set a date for interviews for four positions at Levi Jackson Park. President Starr Handy said there had been one candidacy for the position of director of parks, two applications for the post of director of tourism at the park and one candidacy for the post of director of the campground. Interviews will take place on Tuesday, November 23. The hiring committee will include board members Handy, Bill Dezarn, Holly Little, Kelly Greene and Lois McWhorter. Board members Mike Holt and Phil Smith will not be attending the interview sessions as their family members are currently working for the park.

Job descriptions for other tourism payroll positions are expected to be completed by the end of the week, while information on health insurance policies continues to be sought.

The City of London Tourism Commission meets on the third Monday of each month at 5:30 p.m. in the meeting room of the Community Center.