NEWBERN, Tenn. - Dot Foods, Inc., the nation's largest food industry redistributor, and Dot Transportation, Inc. (DTI), Dot Foods' subsidiary trucking partner, will make a $57,000 contribution to the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) to start an evening truck driving school program at the Newbern campus. The new program will allow students to attend the 9-week program at night, so they can continue working during their training. TCAT-Newbern plans to launch the program's first class of eight students on September 7.

"Without a doubt, truck driving jobs are in high demand," said TCAT-Newbern Director Donna Hastings. "When Dot approached us about developing a training program at our Newbern location, we were excited and honored. This partnership is a win-win for our region."

Dot is dedicated to being the best neighbor possible in the communities it calls home. The company opened its ninth distribution center in nearby Dyersburg, Tennessee in January and is always looking for ways to bring more quality jobs to the region.

"TCAT is one of the great resources we use to find driver candidates," said Matt Duggan, Dot Foods Tennessee assistant general manager. "The country is in the midst of a serious shortage of truck drivers, and we know Dot is not the only company that stands to benefit from giving more people in northwest Tennessee the opportunity to earn a living in this industry."

Dot, inspired by Governor Haslam's Drive to 55 Alliance, is committing to hire at least 55 graduates of the TCAT-Newbern program at a guaranteed first year income of $55,000. Under the 2014 Tennessee Reconnect bill, which takes effect in September, free tuition is available for residents over the age of 24 at the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology.  Eligible students would only have to pay approximately $650 out-of-pocket for fees, books and permits. Dot will pay the fees of the first 10 student drivers it hires from the program.

Dot and non-profit group Rural Development partners have each pledged $57,000 toward the startup of the truck driving school on the Newbern campus. Dot was awarded a New Markets Tax Credit allocation by Rural Development Partners.  The parties established a Community Investment Program designed to improve the infrastructure of the local communities.  The Governor's Drive to 55 Alliance and Dot's focus on over-the-road distribution made the new truck driving education program an obvious choice for the Community Investment Program.

New Markets Tax Credits attract investment capital to low-income communities by permitting individual and corporate investors to receive a tax credit against their federal income tax return in exchange for making qualified equity investments in specialized financial institutions called Community Development Entities.

"Dot is assisting financially, but our hope is to supply truck drivers to many industry partners that require CDL drivers," Hastings said. "Truck driving is one career option with endless possibilities for employment."

The American Trucking Association estimates there is currently a shortage of 35,000 truck drivers in the U.S. If not properly addressed, the group believes that shortage will increase to 240,000 drivers in the next five years.

"Dot is happy to be able to help bring this program to Dyer County," Duggan said, "We're looking forward to seeing the first students graduate and find a new career in truck driving that they may never have even imagined was possible."

TCAT-Newbern is now accepting applications for its new truck driving school program. For more information call (731) 627-2511 or visit www.tcatnewbern.edu.

ABOUT DOT FOODS AND DOT TRANSPORTATION
Dot Foods Inc. carries 109,000 products from 650 food industry manufacturers making it the largest food industry redistributor in the United States. Through Dot Transportation Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Dot Foods, the company distributes foodservice, convenience, retail and vending products to distributors in all 50 states and more than 25 countries. Dot Foods operates nine distribution centers, which are located in Modesto, California; Vidalia, Georgia; Burley, Idaho; Mt. Sterling, Illinois; Cambridge City, Indiana; Williamsport, Maryland; Liverpool, New York; Ardmore, Oklahoma; and Dyersburg, Tennessee. For information, visit www.dotfoods.com.

Dot Foods and Dot Transportation continue to experience exceptional growth. Both companies are looking to fill several positions for full and part-time drivers and warehouse personnel in all locations nationwide. To learn more about careers at Dot Foods visit www.dotfoods.com/careers and follow @DotFoodsCareers.

ABOUT TCAT- NEWBERN
TCAT-Newbern is the premier workforce provider for northwest Tennessee with campuses in Newbern, Union City and Bells. TCAT-Newbern offers 13 programs of study, ranging from nursing and cosmetology to automotive, diesel mechanics, injection molding/robotics, truck driving, machine tool, industrial maintenance, drafting, and welding. They are always eager to welcome strong, enthusiastic students into their classes. The Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology have a long, rich history that the Newbern campus strives to preserve. Their reputation for developing professionals into the workforce is well known throughout the community. Last year, TCAT-Newbern placed 83% of graduates in high-demand and high-paying jobs using the skills they learned in their field of study. Currently, 100% of the students in our Machine Tool, Industrial Maintenance, and Welding programs are going to work upon completion of training.  At TCAT Newbern, all programs take 20 months or less to complete.

ABOUT RURAL DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS
Rural Development Partners is one of the nation's leading rural Community Development Entities with a national service territory and a focus on businesses that creates jobs in low-income regions.

To learn more about Rural Development Partners, visit www.ruraldevelopmentpartners.com or contact the office at (641) 201-8041.