Centerpoint Driving Academy Offers Real-World Experience
Feb 28, 2019 06:00AM
By Pamela Johnson
Jim Beyer (left) & John Anderson, co-founders of Centerpoint Driving Academy.
Centerpoint Driving Academy (CDA) is all about preparing its students for “the real world of driving experience.” It was with this in mind that two tennis buddies from way back got together and formed CDA, which they opened in January.
John Anderson, with 30 years of experience in the technology sector, including software and websites, runs the business side of CDA. Jim Beyer is a Professional Driving Instructor, designated by the Massachusetts RMV, with more than five years’ experience with a local driver training company. He is in charge of teaching, driving and scheduling, and he runs the day-to-day operations of CDA.
“We put all seven of our kids through driver education training,” says Beyer. “And we spotted holes in their training.”
Out of that, among other things, came their “Life Skills Program.” Beyer explained, “A lot of kids come through other trainings, and if they have a problem later with their car, about all they can do is call AAA.” So CDA brings in police officers, mechanics, insurance specialists, RMV representatives and experts in car purchasing and finance. The experts talk to the students, “teaching them how to change a flat tire or what to expect if they get stopped by a police officer; we’re preparing them for the real world,” said Anderson.
On Saturday mornings they offer the Life Skills Program, a two-and-a-half-hour learning opportunity that is provided free of charge.
Another unique feature of CDA is that training is provided in a newer model SUV. “SUVs are safer than sedans,” Anderson pointed out. Also, students are learning to drive in the kind of vehicle they are likely to use once they are licensed. And when it comes time to take the RMV test, students can use the vehicle they trained in.
Anderson’s technology background has enabled him to “go electronic and allow students to keep track of their progress on our website portal and schedule classes remotely on their electronic devices.”
CDA offers competitive pricing that currently features a Grand Opening Package for only $790. “We do a bundle plan that includes everything; others charge a la carte so additional fees often pop up,” said Anderson. Payment plans are available as well as discounts for paying all in advance.
CDA’s full program includes 30 hours of classroom training, 12 hours of driving time, six hours of observation time as a passenger, the use of a CDA vehicle for the road test, and the Life Skills Program. Scheduling is flexible and includes evenings and weekends. Small class sizes mean more individual attention.
Area high school students aren’t the only ones who need driver’s education. Anderson points out that people who move to the U.S. from foreign countries, stay-at-home moms who join the workforce, and people who move from big cities to small towns are often looking for training because they need a car
Anderson and Beyer noted, “It became clear to us that while driver’s education programs are helping students get their license, they are not doing enough to prepare them for what happens after they have it.”
So they decided to “provide a community service with a unique value proposition.”
Visit www.centerpointdrivingacademy.com or call 508-217-4447 to find out more. CDA is fully licensed and insured, and it serves more than a dozen surrounding towns from its central location at 31 Granite St. in Milford.
story & photo by Dave Dunbar, Bulletin Business Writer
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