Waste Pro program boosts truck driving workforce

Longwood, Florida-based Waste Pro USA Inc. says its Co-Heart program has reached a milestone in the form of its 300th commercial driver’s license (CDL) graduate.

The program, created in 2015, gives Waste Pro employees of all levels—including drivers, helpers, supervisors and managers—an opportunity to receive one-on-one training and earn a CDL. The program was created and is led by Corporate Operations Trainer Robert Bourcheau, a state-approved examiner and instructor in Florida.

In the course, students work with Bourcheau on advanced backing and driving skills, rollover prevention and other truck driving aspects in preparation for the CDL exam. The tests are conducted at Waste Pro’s Regional Operations Center in Sanford, Florida, a state-approved CDL testing site. Waste Pro says it is only one of two solid waste companies in the state that work with the Florida Department of Transportation to offer such a program.

The 300th graduate of the program, who earned his CDL in February 2021, is Willy Previl, who started at Waste Pro’s Ft. Myers, Florida, division as a helper in 2020 and has since been promoted to driver. He is the cousin of Ft. Myers driver Ickson Pierre, who also is a graduate of the program, and recently earned his first $10,000 Safety Award for three years of safe driving.

“Being a Waste Pro runs in the family here in Ft. Myers,” says Division Manager Bill Jones.

Previl said Pierre’s accomplishment inspired him to participate in the Co-Heart program and earn his CDL. Ft. Myers helper Anthony Jones also earned his CDL in February.

Sanford Police Officer Sean Hill attended a ceremony honoring Willy and other recent graduates of the program and spoke about the importance of being vigilant behind the wheel and looking out for aggressive driving, major traffic violations and other topics.

Waste Pro, which operates in 10 southeastern states, serves more than 2 million residential and 40,000 commercial customers while earning revenue exceeding $760 million per year.