Springs Truck Driving School is set to open a new location in Walsenburg, facilitated by a land donation from San Isabel Electric Association. “This opportunity for economic growth wouldn’t be possible without the generous land gift from SIEA,” said Carlton Croft, director of Huerfano County Economic Development.

The school will be located south of San Isabel Electric’s warehouse at the corner of the I-25 Business Loop and County Road 301.

“Huerfano County consistently has high unemployment rates. Offering a pathway to become truck drivers and make a six-figure income fairly quickly is a great opportunity for people in the community,” Croft said.

“We gifted the land for public good. By gifting the land to the county, they will ensure the land will be developed and managed in a way that maximizes public benefit rather than purely private gain,” SIEA Board President Ray Garcia said.

The collaboration began several years ago when Steve Speaks, owner of Springs Truck Driving School, reached out to HCED about expanding to Walsenburg. Speaks, who also operates a school north of Pueblo, sought a location with easy access to I-25 and high visibility.

Initial efforts to secure land faced challenges, but a conversation between Huerfano County Commissioner John Galusha, SIEA Board President Ray Garcia, and SIEA General Manager Ryan Elarton led to the suggestion of using land near SIEA’s Walsenburg warehouse. After that discussion and consideration, SIEA’s board approved the land gift to HCED.

The truck driving school will be the main tenant on the property. There are plans to break ground this year and for the school to open in 2025.

The Walsenburg school will offer CDL certification and renewals, providing both the written test and the required on-the-job training. “Everyone starts driving and shifting on their first day,” Speaks said.
Springs Truck Driving School will employ one full-time instructor, one part-time instructor, and an administrative office position, with a focus on hiring locally. There have already been several candidate interviews.

HCED is considering other tenants for the remaining space, including a food distribution center, which could further boost local employment.

“Local restaurants currently rely on deliveries or trips to Pueblo for supplies,” Croft explained. “Having a food distribution center nearby, along with a supply of truck drivers next door, would be a great asset for the community.”

“The county has the resources and know-how to develop the land in a way that maximizes its potential. The board is excited to see the land put to its highest and best use, which could include creating jobs, attracting investment, or improving infrastructure,” San Isabel Electric Board of Directors Vice President Jacque Sikes said.