Taking Back Our Neighborhoods: Private First Class driving - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Taking Back Our Neighborhoods: Private First Class driving

By Ursula Madden - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Unlike the non-stop flow of tractor trailers that roll through the Mid-South, George Black's life had come to a grinding halt.

"I went through a real hard divorce and everything, and started drinking real heavy," Black said in a recent interview.

He lost his job, his home, and eventually ended up in a Memphis shelter.

"I decided that I was going to buy a truck, because I'm homeless and I'm broke," he said. "You know, I could sleep in the truck and get up and go to work, right there."

Black enrolled in the Private First Class Driving Academy.  Owner David Jamison, his wife Debbie, and instructor Willie Davis have trained nearly 300 drivers.  Roughly 30 are convicted felons or homeless.

"A lot of the companies we have called have not had any problems with our students having convictions or felonies," Debbie Jamison said.

In fact, all of their trainees now have jobs.

"A lot of these people, they got felonies, they have these bad marks on their record, and they think there's no help for them," David Jamison said.  "If you go to school, learn something good, companies want to hire you.   They want to help you get back on your feet."

It's the Jamison's philosophy.

"He kept after me," Black said. "You can do this. You can make something of yourself. It ain't over."

You can learn more about Private First Class, including age and education requirements, and salary information, call 901-326-8460.

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