WMC Success Story – Denis Ayers
Serving the general public in Allegany, Garrett and Washington counties, the Western Maryland Consortium is a regional workforce development agency. We strive to help workers improve their skills and find employment, leading to self-sufficiency as quickly as possible. Skilled training is provided to those with a demonstrated need and is aligned with the skill shortages that have been reported by local employers.
Denis came to WMC after being a stay at home parent for the past 9 years. From a very young age Denis knew he wanted to be a trucker. He has always had a love for driving and being on the road. In 2013 the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration changed their rules that gave him the opportunity by allowing exemptions for the hearing portion of the DOT physical. His exemption was quickly approved and his first hurdle to becoming a trucker was now in his rearview mirror. His next step was to find a CDL school that would work with him and teach him how to drive a truck. WMC works closely with Hagerstown Community College and puts many drivers through their program yearly.
Denis decided to go with the Hagerstown Community College CDL program because it is one of the preferred schools for trucking companies in the Mid-Atlantic region. Denis faced many challenges as a Deaf CDL A student and overcame them by attending classes with full-time interpreters. Denis says, “the staff and instructors were so amazing and supportive all the way. The program exceeded my expectations. I was the valedictorian in my CDL A class and felt so proud knowing that I did very well in all areas. I am very sad to say goodbyes to my instructors and classmates. My career counselor at WCM, Jesse, was very supportive and I’m so lucky to have had her and everyone else at WMC and HCC help me through the CDL A program”.
Denis was the first deaf person in the state of Maryland to obtain a CDL Class A license in the six years since FMCSA began granting hearing exemptions. He is currently driving locally for DM Bowman Trucking.