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November 11, 2020

Essential family man delivers!

Our country’s ribbon of highway gets long some days (and nights) but as Todd Sitcler says, “it takes a lot of great Americans to do the mundane and get the job done.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Todd has crisscrossed the U.S. delivering food to 30 states encompassing all corners of America — Laredo, Texas, to Livermore, Maryland, and Napa Valley, California, to Vidalia, Georgia. His main goals: Be early with his delivery and get home for the weekend. Todd is an over-the-road driver for DOT Transportation, Inc., a family-owned company whose culture stresses the importance of home life.

After being awarded funds from JCCC’s Continuing Education scholarship, Todd was able to earn his CDL-A license from JCCC’s Transportation program and double his income.

Todd says he owes JCCC a debt of gratitude because he’s a happy career man with a salary that allows him to take care of his family and also provide space in his home for his parents. In all fairness, JCCC offered him a path; he proceeded with grit and came away with success.

“I could not be the provider I am today without that scholarship and all the great people associated with JCCC,” he said.

Pandemic Polarity

For the last two years, Todd has battled traffic in just about every part of the country. But in March, it was as if a time warp occurred. The interstates were desolate. Few vehicles. Lack of business.

DOT had to pivot because its main clientele is restaurant distributors. Last year, 2019, was a banner year, but business needs changed in the first quarter of 2020. Higher management took pay cuts, the company got creative and started hauling building supplies and other freight — but through it all, DOT drivers held on to their jobs.

“I was kept on because I have a bigger family and my folks live with us,” said Todd. Older employees took furloughs because they were more “set” in life, and some took rotating furloughs through September.

Close to Home

However, sickness — COVID-19 and cancer — struck Todd’s loved ones.

His brother is a police officer in Minnesota and his sister-in-law is a nurse. They both contracted COVID-19 and had more than a mild case, but with medical care and prayers, both have recovered.

Todd’s mother also went through a breast cancer diagnosis, surgery and treatment. His parents were very cautious with distancing, even in the house, from the rest of the family because she had a compromised immune system due to a follow-up stint of radiation.

“It was hard being away from the family at that time especially,” Todd recounted. “She caught it early and that made it a little better, but it was still a difficult process during COVID especially. I have a strong family and our faith plays a big part in that.”

Todd’s wife, Candy, has been in the fast lane keeping their two teenage sons, adolescent daughter and Todd’s parents safe and well during the pandemic.

“I’m very intentional when I’m home and I get to focus on being a husband, dad and son because my wife keeps things moving,” Todd said.

“My wife is amazing,” he adds. “She manages home life all week. I could never have succeeded at this without her.”

Next Generation of JCCC Success

Todd and Candy’s sons will soon be JCCC students. A Sitcler family rule is to earn a degree and also have trades training in your back pocket for backup income. Joshua has a passion for music and plans to master welding skills at JCCC. Devin loves carpentry and is going to work toward earning a business degree so he can one day be his own boss. Their daughter, Amelia, is still trying to decide her career and trade aspirations. She’s bouncing around geology and being an artist.

“I’m so grateful for what JCCC did for me and now I’m confident that the College is going to be there to propel my kids into great careers, too,” Todd said.

Want to Get a CDL-A License?

If you're considering a career as a professional truck driver, JCCC's fully accredited Commercial Driver's License (CDL-A) training program can prepare you for a future in the growing commercial trucking industry.

Funding options for veterans and others are available. Call 913-469-8500, ext. 2500, for details.