A car parked in the Chemeketa Community College lot in Salem (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)
Hundreds of local teens are on a waitlist for driver's education classes at Chemeketa Community College because of an instructor shortage.
The college is hoping to hire five to seven more instructors to resume offering driver's ed courses more regularly, said Sara Hastings, the college's dean of high school partnerships.
Chemeketa stopped offering driver's ed during the pandemic and resumed courses during its summer 2021 quarter, Hastings said. Pre-pandemic, the college had 10 driving instructors, but many left over the past two years.
"We have been slowly adding courses each term but with our instructor shortage, we've been considerably limited in what we can offer to our community," Hastings said in an email.
About 200 students are currently on the waitlist for a course, she said.
Driver's education training classes are offered through Western Oregon University, with the next Salem course starting June 25. The course costs $99. Registration and more information is available online.
Once hired by Chemeketa, driving time is scheduled by the instructor, and Chemeketa provides the instruction vehicle, according to a college news release. Anyone interested in becoming an instructor can email [email protected] or call 503-584-7541.