Mar 14, 2014 | Article Provided By: Evan Weese, Columbus Business First
Bridge Credit Union is tapping its transportation roots to put prospective truck drivers on Ohio’s highways.
The member-owned financial institution has partnered with Roadmaster Driver School of Ohio Inc. to package loans specifically for students of the trade school on Columbus’ west side.
Bridge’s industry expertise make it a natural fit, said Jeffrey Whittington, director of Roadmaster. Formerly the State Transportation Employees Credit Union, Bridge long has served the Ohio Department of Transportation and last year expanded to reach more corners of the industry.
“It’s presenting a much better opportunity to our students as far as bettering their life once they get out on the road,” said Whittington, who’s led the school for 11 years.
Easing the process of becoming licensed, and paying for it while traveling, is seen as important in an industry that has a critical shortfall of drivers.
“Having a (credit union) that understands that really helps (students),” Whittington said.
About 10 percent of the school’s 500 to 600 students annually will use financing, he said, and more than 70 have taken advantage of the partnership since October. The 160 hours of on-road and classroom training runs $6,495, he said.
Columbus-based Bridge has about 7,800 members and total assets of $43 million.