Minnesota State Commercial Driver Academy Alumna: Renata Diaz Geniz

School bus driver earning CDL to help out in her husband’s company

Renata Diaz Geniz at Commercial Driver Academy

Renata Diaz Geniz, 39, graduates from the Minnesota State Commercial Driver Academy Wednesday, March 9, 2022. Renata chose to get the training she needs to earn her Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) because she’s looking to switch careers. She currently works as a school bus driver; she is also a certified nursing assistant (CNA).

“I’m going to help my husband, Luis, keep growing the delivery company, D & D Brothers, he started,” Renata explained.

Nicole Qualley serves as the academy’s program navigator. Nicole has been very impressed with Renata’s enthusiasm and work ethic.

“Renata is a model student who is always on task, studying, and helping her fellow students along with their journeys,” Nicole said. “The Minnesota State Commercial Driver Academy is proud to have Renata as a student!”

More about Renata…

Family birthday party

Originally from the state of Morelos in south central Mexico, Renata graduated from an online high school in the U.S., earning her diploma in 2004. She got married to her husband, Luis, also from Morelos, in Minnesota in October 2007 on her birthday. ?

“We have three blessings,” Renata said. “My daughter, Estrella, is 13 years old, and then Luis Angel, is my 8-year-old boy, and my baby boy, Matteo, is 6 years old. We have a male Belgian Malinois named Togo. He will turn two in July.”

In her free time, she enjoys going shopping and watching movies. “I share all the time possible with my kids,” she said. “I take them to their sports—our whole family loves soccer the most, and I also like walking my dog, Togo.”

Renata and her family reside in Apple Valley, Minnesota.

Renata family gallery


One word that best describes your experience at the Commercial Driver Academy:


Renata Diaz Geniz Q & A

Why did you choose to enroll in the Minnesota State Commercial Driver Academy?

Because when I called around to all the driving schools near my city, male voices answered the phone—and they were not very nice when they
learned I was a woman. But when I called the Minnesota State Commercial Driver Academy at DCTC, OMG, Nicole [Nicole Qualley, CD Academy program navigator] answered the phone, and she was nice and friendly and answered all my questions.

What did you like best about the academy?

The program takes only six weeks.

Three words that describe you as a future commercial truck driver:

What do like best about driving a commercial truck?

I will be making good money, and I’ll be able to go everywhere and not just be stuck inside a building.

What advice would you give anyone thinking about becoming a commercial truck driver?

Please do enroll in the academy—you won’t regret it.

What are you looking forward to most in your career as a commercial truck driver?

Make our delivery company the best option for our customers.

About the Minnesota State Commercial Driver Academy

Minnesota State is proud to incorporate our history of high-quality instruction into a new approach for supporting the Commercial Driver Academy. The Commercial Driver Academy program provides high-quality, timely, and standardized CDL training to meet the needs of a professional driver.

The Commercial Driver Academy program is a customized series of courses that meet Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) requirements.

The Minnesota State Commercial Driver Academy Consortium consists of representatives from each of the four Consortium members, including:

  • Anoka Ramsey Community College
  • Dakota County Technical College
  • Inver Hill Community College
  • Saint Paul College

Need for CDL Drivers

In Minnesota, there are 34,540 workers employed in this very large career, which is currently in very high demand and seeing high growth compared to other careers. The growth rate is 6.6 percent. There will be a need for about 47,962 new Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers to meet market demand between 2018–2028. This includes demand due to replacement (workers leaving the occupation or retiring) as well as growth.

More information…


The Commercial Driver Academy Consortium collaborates on a system-wide basis to respond to CDL training needs and opportunities; however, each campus will retain its local decision-making authority and institutional reporting lines.


The responsibilities of the Minnesota State Commercial Driver Academy Consortium are to:

  • provide a timely response to training needs and opportunities across the state of Minnesota
  • provide quality trained drivers
  • The safe and efficient movement of goods transported by trained truck drivers is essential to a prosperous Minnesota economy.

Standing committees

The Consortium has the following standing committees:

  • Executive Committee
  • Curriculum Committee
  • Marketing Committee

Training standards

Federal Commercial Driver’s License Requirements

SOURCE: All data is for Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Drivers, Standard Occupation Code (SOC) 53-3032, and for Minnesota (statewide)
  1. Employment: Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED)
  2. Demand: Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED)
  3. Employment and growth projections: Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED)

Important Commercial Driver Academy links

Contact the Commercial Driver Academy via email

Or: Fill out the form on the Commercial Driver Academy homepage.

Learn more about the Minnesota State Commercial Driver Academy by contacting:

Nicole Qualley
Program Navigator
Minnesota State Commercial Driver Academy

Jonathan Rymer
Program Manager
Minnesota State Commercial Driver Academy

Bob Trewartha
Director of Workforce Training & Continuing Education
Minnesota Training Connection