Education Justice Project

Minnesota Training Connection delivering CDL training to justice-informed individuals

Minnesota Training Connection (MTC) is partnering with Volunteers in Corrections (VIC) and Ujamaa Place to deliver Class B Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) training at no cost to Ramsey County Corrections justice-informed individuals as part of the Education Justice Project at Dakota County Technical College and Inver Hills Community College.

Monica Ibarra

Monica Ibarra, Title III project coordinator at Inver Hills leads the Education Justice Project. Monica is chair of the IHCC/DCTC BIPOC, and she has actively engaged with the Dakota County BIPOC Professional Networking Group, Inver Middle School and Inver Glenn Library.

Monica also volunteers as chair of the Volunteers in Corrections (VIC) Board. She’s lead volunteer with the Minnesota ACLU and a member of the Ramsey County Corrections Advisory Board (CAB), the MAPE EDIC subgroup and the Minnesota Association of County Corrections Act Counties Race Equity Committee.

“We are delivering the Class B CDL training in cohorts of six,” Monica said. “Training is at no cost to the students where VIC is providing financial scholarships. Ujamaa Place is delivering wraparound services to the participants.”

Monica reported that the DCTC Foundation provided funding for the initial Class B permit for the fall 2020 training cohort.

“Our number one goal is having graduates of this project find employment with a sustainable wage, and ideally with access to health care,” she said. “This training offers justice-informed individuals access to training in a high-demand career field.”

Monica added that the first cohort was a success with four participants passing their permit tests and two going on to obtain a Class B commercial driver’s license. Participants in the second cohort are prepped to begin behind-the-wheel training next month.

“The project has continued to improve and is now providing career-prep training,” she said, “including building a resume accessible on a smartphone.”

Class B CDL trainee perspectives…

The school training was very understanding, and it was a wonderful experience for me. The  trainers are very well qualified, and I was grateful to get two of the best instructors.

I learned a lot, and I’m proud to say that I’m a CDL holder!! I would recommend this program to anyone who wants to obtain a Class B license. I would also like to give thx to Ujaama—without them none of this would be possible for me. Thx!


Hey, Mr. Unger,

Just wanted to say thank you!!! You all have a great reputation with DPS Eagan. While I know that I put in the work, I am grateful for your dedication and that of your staff, Rick and Roger. You guys are awesome.

I look forward to the ROAD ahead!!! My little brother will also be contacting you soon; he passed his permit test today. Again, thank you!!!

— JW

More about the Class B CDL training

Jim Unger

Jim Unger, MTC transportation and public safety coordinator, is in charge of delivering the one-on-one training to each cohort participating in the Education Justice Project.

“The Class B CDL allows for the operation of single-unit vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds,” Jim said. “This includes straight trucks, garbage trucks, dump trucks, delivery trucks, cement mixers, flatbeds, snowplows and more. Wages for Class B drivers in the Twin Cities metro area can approach $30 an hour.”

Four stages of Class B driver permit training and testing at DCTC:

  1. Two days of permit training at DCTC (Curriculum: general knowledge and air brakes)
  2. Department of Transportation written test at the Department of Vehicle Services facility of participant’s choice
  3. Four days of behind-the-wheel training after earning permit at the DCTC 2.8-mile decision driving range
  4. Behind-the-wheel Class B CDL test at the Eagan DMV

More about Minnesota Training Connection

Minnesota Training Connection, a partnership between Dakota County Technical College and Inver Hills Community College, is dedicated to providing flexible career training solutions to business and industry. Leveraging the resources of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, our training is designed to make your business more competent and more competitive.

Have you identified a skill gap within your organization? Do you believe you can get the results needed with the right guidance? Minnesota Training Connection delivers high-quality, responsive technical and professional education in career-oriented programs customized for your specific needs.

Whether your organization is for-profit or nonprofit, private, public or government, we have experience in a wide variety of industry settings. Contact us for customized, hands-on training delivered onsite, online or on campus.


More about Volunteers in Corrections¹

Mission: To make a positive difference in the lives of current and former Ramsey County Community Corrections Department (RCCCD) clients with educational aides and social actives to assist them in positive life changes.

Each year VIC coordinates an annual plant sale to raise funds to help educate and provide programming for families and people directly and or indirectly affected by incarceration in Ramsey County.


More about Ujamaa Place²

Ujamaa Place provides holistic transformation for young African-American men experiencing inequity at the intersection of race and poverty. We help them achieve brotherhood, stability and personal success.

Ujamaa Place Theory of Transformation™ program model utilizes individual transformation plans to provide holistic, one-one high context coaching that inspires personal growth through education, knowledge-building and access to over 37 transformation services based on need. These services are provided at no charge to the men enrolled in the Theory of Transformation™ program.

Learn more about the Education Justice Project by contacting:

Monica Ibarra
Title III Project Coordinator
Inver Hills Community College

¹ SOURCE: Volunteers in Corrections
² SOURCE: Ujamaa Place

Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers

Transport goods around the country on trucks with a capacity of at least 26,000 pounds Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW).


Above the statewide median of $21.49/hour.


Median: $23.84/hour
High: $28.76/hour

Seven-county Twin Cities metro

Median: $25.16/hour
High: $29.94/hour


In Minnesota, there are 35,150 workers employed in this very large career, which is currently in very high demand and seeing high growth compared to other careers. Growth rate is 6.6 percent. There will be a need for about 47,962 new Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers to meet market demand between 2018–2028. This includes the demand due to replacement (workers leaving the occupation or retiring) as well as growth.

Minnesota State CAREERwise Education

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